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- Real-time price discovery in stock, bond and foreign exchange markets (2004)
- We characterize the response of U.S., German and British stock, bond and foreign exchange markets to real-time U.S. macroeconomic news. Our analysis is based on a unique data set of high-frequency futures returns for each of the markets. We find that news surprises produce conditional mean jumps; hence high-frequency stock, bond and exchange rate dynamics are linked to fundamentals. The details of the linkages are particularly intriguing as regards equity markets. We show that equity markets react differently to the same news depending on the state of the economy, with bad news having a positive impact during expansions and the traditionally-expected negative impact during recessions. We rationalize this by temporal variation in the competing "cash flow" and "discount rate" effects for equity valuation. This finding helps explain the time-varying correlation between stock and bond returns, and the relatively small equity market news effect when averaged across expansions and recessions. Lastly, relying on the pronounced heteroskedasticity in the high-frequency data, we document important contemporaneous linkages across all markets and countries over-and-above the direct news announcement effects. Klassifikation: F3, F4, G1, C5 . July 2003. This Version: June 28, 2004.

- Multiple-bank lending : diversification and free-riding in monitoring (2004)
- This paper analyzes banks' choice between lending to firms individually and sharing lending with other banks, when firms and banks are subject to moral hazard and monitoring is essential. Multiple-bank lending is optimal whenever the benefit of greater diversification in terms of higher monitoring dominates the costs of free-riding and duplication of efforts. The model predicts a greater use of multiple-bank lending when banks are small relative to investment projects, firms are less profitable, and poor financial integration, regulation and inefficient judicial systems increase monitoring costs. These results are consistent with empirical observations concerning small business lending and loan syndication. Klassifikation: D82; G21; G32. June 1, 2004.

- Legality and venture governance around the world (2004)
- We analyze governance with a dataset on investments of venture capitalists in 3848 portfolio firms in 39 countries from North and South America, Europe and Asia spanning 1971-2003. We find that cross-country differences in Legality have a significant impact on the governance structure of investments in the VC industry: better laws facilitate faster deal screening and deal origination, a higher probability of syndication and a lower probability of potentially harmful co-investment, and facilitate board representation of the investor. We also show better laws reduce the probability that the investor requires periodic cash flows prior to exit, which is in conjunction with an increased probability of investment in high-tech companies. Klassifikation: G24, G31, G32. April 2004 .

- Realized beta : persistence and predictability (2004)
- A large literature over several decades reveals both extensive concern with the question of time-varying betas and an emerging consensus that betas are in fact time-varying, leading to the prominence of the conditional CAPM. Set against that background, we assess the dynamics in realized betas, vis-à-vis the dynamics in the underlying realized market variance and individual equity covariances with the market. Working in the recently-popularized framework of realized volatility, we are led to a framework of nonlinear fractional cointegration: although realized variances and covariances are very highly persistent and well approximated as fractionally-integrated, realized betas, which are simple nonlinear functions of those realized variances and covariances, are less persistent and arguably best modeled as stationary I(0) processes. We conclude by drawing implications for asset pricing and portfolio management. Klassifikation: C1, G1 . January 2003. This Draft/Print: March 1, 2004.

- Are stationary hyperinflation paths learnable? (2004)
- Earlier studies of the seigniorage inflation model have found that the high-inflation steady state is not stable under adaptive learning. We reconsider this issue and analyze the full set of solutions for the linearized model. Our main focus is on stationary hyperinflationary paths near the high-inflation steady state. The hyperinflationary paths are stable under learning if agents can utilize contemporaneous data. However, in an economy populated by a mixture of agents, some of whom only have access to lagged data, stable inflationary paths emerge only if the proportion of agents with access to contemporaneous data is sufficiently high. Klassifikation: C62, D83, D84, E31

- Exchange-rate policy and the zero bound on nominal interest (2004)
- In this paper, we study the effectiveness of monetary policy in a severe recession and deflation when nominal interest rates are bounded at zero. We compare two alternative proposals for ameliorating the effect of the zero bound: an exchange-rate peg and price-level targeting. We conduct this quantitative comparison in an empirical macroeconometric model of Japan, the United States and the euro area. Furthermore, we use a stylized micro-founded two-country model to check our qualitative findings. We find that both proposals succeed in generating inflationary expectations and work almost equally well under full credibility of monetary policy. However, price-level targeting may be less effective under imperfect credibility, because the announced price-level target path is not directly observable. Klassifikation: E31, E52, E58, E61

- Optimal monetary policy under commitment with a zero bound on nominal interest rates (2004)
- We determine optimal monetary policy under commitment in a forwardlooking New Keynesian model when nominal interest rates are bounded below by zero. The lower bound represents an occasionally binding constraint that causes the model and optimal policy to be nonlinear. A calibration to the U.S. economy suggests that policy should reduce nominal interest rates more aggressively than suggested by a model without lower bound. Rational agents anticipate the possibility of reaching the lower bound in the future and this amplifies the effects of adverse shocks well before the bound is reached. While the empirical magnitude of U.S. mark-up shocks seems too small to entail zero nominal interest rates, shocks affecting the natural real interest rate plausibly lead to a binding lower bound. Under optimal policy, however, this occurs quite infrequently and does not require targeting a positive average rate of inflation. Interestingly, the presence of binding real rate shocks alters the policy response to (non-binding) mark-up shocks. Klassifikation: C63, E31, E52 . First Version: March 24, 2003. This Version: May 7, 2004.

- Private equity-, stock- and mixed asset-portfolios : a bootstrap approach to determine performance characteristics, diversification benefits and optimal portfolio allocations (2004)
- In this article, we investigate risk return characteristics and diversification benefits when private equity is used as a portfolio component. We use a unique dataset describing 642 US-American portfolio companies with 3620 private equity investments. Information about precisely dated cash flows at the company level enables for the first time a cash flow equivalent and simultaneous investment simulation in stocks, as well as the construction of stock portfolios for benchmarking purposes. With respect to the methodology involved, we construct private equity, stock-benchmark and mixed-asset portfolios using bootstrap simulations. For the late 1990s we find a dramatic increase in the extent to which private equity outperforms stock investment. In earlier years private equity was underperforming its stock benchmarks. Within the overall class of private equity, returns on earlier private equity investment categories, like venture capital, show on average higher variations and even higher rates of failure. It is in this category in particular that high average portfolio returns are generated solely by the ability to select a few extremely well performing companies, thus compensating for lost investments. There is a high marginal diversifiable risk reduction of about 80% when the portfolio size is increased to include 15 investments. When the portfolio size is increased from 15 to 200 there are few marginal risk diversification effects on the one hand, but a large increase in managing expenditure on the other, so that an actual average portfolio size between 20 and 28 investments seems to be well balanced. We provide empirical evidence that the non-diversifiable risk that a constrained investor, who is exclusively investing in private equity, has to hold exceeds that of constrained stock investors and also the market risk. From the viewpoint of unconstrained investors with complete investment freedom, risk can be optimally reduced by constructing mixed asset portfolios. According to the various private equity subcategories analyzed, there are big differences in optimal allocations to this asset class for minimizing mixed-asset portfolio variance or maximizing performance ratios. We observe optimal portfolio weightings to be between 3% and 65%. Klassifikation: G11 . First draft: March 2003. This version: December 2003.

- Weather forecasting for weather derivatives (2004)
- We take a simple time-series approach to modeling and forecasting daily average temperature in U.S. cities, and we inquire systematically as to whether it may prove useful from the vantage point of participants in the weather derivatives market. The answer is, perhaps surprisingly, yes. Time-series modeling reveals conditional mean dynamics, and crucially, strong conditional variance dynamics, in daily average temperature, and it reveals sharp differences between the distribution of temperature and the distribution of temperature surprises. As we argue, it also holds promise for producing the long-horizon predictive densities crucial for pricing weather derivatives, so that additional inquiry into time-series weather forecasting methods will likely prove useful in weather derivatives contexts. revised version: January 2, 2004

- Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields (2004)
- Despite powerful advances in yield curve modeling in the last twenty years, comparatively little attention has been paid to the key practical problem of forecasting the yield curve. In this paper we do so. We use neither the no-arbitrage approach, which focuses on accurately fitting the cross section of interest rates at any given time but neglects time-series dynamics, nor the equilibrium approach, which focuses on time-series dynamics (primarily those of the instantaneous rate) but pays comparatively little attention to fitting the entire cross section at any given time and has been shown to forecast poorly. Instead, we use variations on the Nelson-Siegel exponential components framework to model the entire yield curve, period-by-period, as a three-dimensional parameter evolving dynamically. We show that the three time-varying parameters may be interpreted as factors corresponding to level, slope and curvature, and that they may be estimated with high efficiency. We propose and estimate autoregressive models for the factors, and we show that our models are consistent with a variety of stylized facts regarding the yield curve. We use our models to produce term-structure forecasts at both short and long horizons, with encouraging results. In particular, our forecasts appear much more accurate at long horizons than various standard benchmark forecasts. JEL Code: G1, E4, C5 Key Words: Term structure, yield curve, factor model, Nelson-Siegel curve This Draft: October 14, 2003.