Given that the conference theme is macro-finance linkages, I thought I would try to lay out a corporate finance perspective on large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs). I have found this perspective helpful in thinking both about the general efficacy of LSAPs going forward, and about the differential effects of buying Treasury securities as opposed to mortgage-backed securities (MBS). But before I get started, please note the usual disclaimer: The thoughts that follow are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of other members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). I should also mention that these comments echo some that I made in a speech at Brookings last month.  As I noted in that speech, I support the Committee’s decision to purchase mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at a rate of $40 billion per month, in tandem with the ongoing maturity extension program in Treasury securities, and its plan to continue with asset purchases if the Committee does not observe a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market.
Posts Tagged ‘Debt maturity’
In the paper, An International Comparison of Capital Structure and Debt Maturity Choices, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, my co-authors (Joseph Fan and Garry Twite) and I examine the influence of institutional environment on capital structure and debt maturity choices by examining a cross-section of firms in 39 developed and developing countries.
The country in which a firm resides has a greater influence on its capital structure than its industry affiliation. Specifically, a regression of firm leverage, measured as the book value of debt over the market value of the firm, on firm-specific variables, industry fixed effects and country fixed effects, has an adjusted R-square of 0.19. When the regression is estimated with industry but not country fixed effects, the adjusted R-square is reduced to 0.15. However, in a regression that includes country dummies but not industry dummies the adjusted R-square is reduced by only half as much, to 0.17. A similar regression with debt maturity, measured as the book value of long-term debt to the book value of total debt, as the dependent variable, has an R-square of 0.25, when all variables are included. When country fixed effects are excluded from the regression the R-square is substantially reduced to 0.09, but when the country fixed effect are included, but the industry fixed effects are excluded, the R-square is only slightly reduced to 0.23.
In our paper, Executive Compensation and the Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt, which was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Finance, we investigate the role of short-term debt in reducing agency costs of debt arising from executive incentive contracts. Specifically, we examine the effect of the two portfolio sensitivities on the maturity structure of corporate debt. In addition, we analyze the effect of debt maturity on the relation between portfolio sensitivities and bond yields.
We study the causal link between CEO incentive compensation and corporate debt maturity using a sample of 6,825 firm-year observations during the 14-year period from 1992 to 2005. We employ alternative definitions of short-term debt, follow Core and Guay’s (2002) method for estimating option sensitivities, and then apply several empirical methodologies (e.g., pooled OLS and GMM simultaneous equation estimation, fixed-effect regressions, change-invariables regressions) and an alternative new debt issuance sample to analyze the predicted relations.