This study investigates whether managers influence credit ratings via voluntary disclosures. I find that firms near a rating change have a higher incidence of a disclosure regarding product and business expansion plans. This finding is more evident for firms that are subject to lower proprietary costs of disclosures, which implies that managers do trade off both the benefits and costs of the disclosures. I find no evidence that firms close to a rating change selectively release good news or suppress bad news on product and business expansion. Overall, my results suggest that firms generally exhibit a credible commitment to maintaining disclosure transparency for a desired credit rating.
A longstanding concern for municipal bond investors is the lack of timely financial statement disclosures. Municipalities are held to lower disclosure standards than corporations. Using continuing disclosure dates for audited financial statements, we find bond issuers with slower disclosure have higher secondary market yields and spreads, less frequent secondary market trading, and are less likely to issue new bonds. We observe that future disclosure is largely predictable based on past disclosure and that disclosure often improves prior to new bond issuances. When municipalities do not capitalize on the benefits of timely disclosure, economic consequences are imposed on bondholders and taxpayers.
Using a sample of syndicated loans to private equity (PE)-backed IPO companies, we examine how a third-party bank relationship influences the syndicate structure of a loan. We find that a stronger relationship between the lead bank and the borrower’s PE firm enables the lead bank to retain a smaller share of the loan and form a larger and less concentrated syndicate, especially when the borrower is less transparent. A stronger PE-bank relationship also attracts greater foreign bank participation. Our findings suggest that the lead bank’s relationship with a large equity holder of the borrower facilitates information production in lending.
Using scaled wealth-performance sensitivity as our measure of CEO incentives, and utilizing cross-sectional variations in industry innovativeness, product market competition and firms’ degree of exposure to the market for corporate control for identification purposes, we find that higher long-term incentives that stem from CEO holdings of unvested options are associated with greater subsequent corporate innovation, exactly where incentivizing innovation is a matter of necessity. We address the endogeneity concern with systems of simultaneous equations estimated using 3SLS. A possible channel for the observed relation is that unvested-options-based incentives encourage managers to undertake riskier projects to achieve long-term economic benefits.
This paper exploits the unique experimental setting created by nearly 1,300 new single stock futures listings on the OneChicago exchange between 2003 and 2009, to investigate the impact of derivatives introductions on the tightness of short sale constraints facing their underlying assets. After controlling explicitly for supply and demand conditions in the stock lending market, this experiment reveals a precipitous decline in active utilization rates and loan fees in the lending market, after the futures introductions. The paper provides strong evidence supporting the view that derivatives represent a viable alternative synthetic short selling venue relaxing short sale constraints facing their underlying assets.
Exchange traded funds (ETF) provide a means for investors to access assets indirectly that may be accessible at a high cost otherwise. I show that liquidity segmentation can explain the tendency for ETFs to trade at a premium to NAV as well as the life-cycle pattern in premiums. ETFs with larger NAV tracking error standard deviations (TESD) tend to trade at higher premiums and the liquidity benefits offered by foreign ETFs and fixed income ETFs are revealed to be the most valuable to investors. Further tests validate that TESD has the desirable properties of a liquidity segmentation measure.