Can Market Maker Capital Constraints Result in Mispricing of ETFs?

By |April 18th, 2022|

Capital constraints of financial intermediaries can affect liquidity provision. We investigate whether these constraints spillover and consequently cause contagion in the degree of market efficiency across assets managed by a common intermediary. Specifically, we provide evidence of strong comovement in pricing gaps between ETFs and their constituents for ETFs served by the same lead market maker (LMM). The effects are stronger for ETFs that are more illiquid and volatile, when the underlying constituents of the ETFs are more costly to arbitrage, and for LMMs with more constrained capital. Using extreme disruptions in debt markets during COVID-19 as an experiment, we show that non-fixed income ETFs serviced by LMMs managing a larger fraction of fixed income ETFs experience greater pricing gaps. Overall, our results indicate that intermediaries’ constraints indeed influence comovements in pricing efficiencies.

Bond Investing in Inflationary Times

By |April 14th, 2022|

As the chief research officer of Buckingham Strategic Partners, the issue I am being asked to address most often is about fixed income strategies when yields are at historically low levels and inflation risk is heightened due to the unprecedented increase in money creation (through quantitative easing), the extraordinary expansionary fiscal spending around the globe, and the war in Ukraine driving prices higher (especially for food and energy). As always, to answer the question we turn first to the academic evidence on which investments in general provide the best hedges against inflation.

Shorting ETFs: A look into the ETF Loan Market

By |April 11th, 2022|

We find that exchange-traded fund (ETF) lending fees are significantly higher than stock lending fees. Two institutional features unique to ETFs play significant roles in explaining the high fees. First, regulations restrict investment companies, such as mutual funds and ETFs, from owning ETFs. As these institutions are key lenders, their absence reduces the lendable supply in the ETF loan market. Second, while the create-to-lend (CTL) mechanism alleviates supply constraints when borrowing demand increases, its efficacy is limited by the associated costs and frictions. Our results speak to the limits to arbitrage in the ETF markets.

Is Sector-neutrality in Factor Investing a Mistake?

By |April 7th, 2022|

Long-only factor performance is more likely to degrade from sector neutralizing—keeping the sector component produced better long-only factors in 78 percent of the trials. The largest negative from sector neutralizing occurred for the value-weighted long-only factors that trade large stocks, arguably the most investable portfolio.

Gaining an Edge via Textual Analysis of FOMC Meetings

By |April 4th, 2022|

How investors understand and use central bank communications, aka FEDSPEAK, is oftentimes cryptic and difficult to analyze.  This study attempts to provide some clarity to this issue by applying textual analysis to both high-frequency price and communication data, to focus on episodes whereby stock price movements are identifiable and on investors’ reactions to specific sentences communicated by the Fed.

Are Stock Market Bubbles Identifiable?

By |March 31st, 2022|

Robin Greenwood, Andrei Shleifer, and Yang You authors of the study “Bubbles for Fama”, published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Financial Economics evaluated Fama's claim that stock prices do not exhibit price bubbles. Based on a fixed threshold for the industry price increases (e.g., a 100 percent price run-up during two consecutive years) to filter their events and to analyze what happens afterward, they examined U.S. industry returns over the period 1926‒2014 (covering 40 episodes) and international sector returns (1985‒2014).

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