- Wirtschaftswissenschaften (5) (remove)
- Did fair-value accounting contribute to the financial crisis? (2009)
- The recent financial crisis has led to a major debate about fair-value accounting. Many critics have argued that fair-value accounting, often also called mark-to-market accounting, has significantly contributed to the financial crisis or, at least, exacerbated its severity. In this paper, we assess these arguments and examine the role of fair-value accounting in the financial crisis using descriptive data and empirical evidence. Based on our analysis, it is unlikely that fair-value accounting added to the severity of the current financial crisis in a major way. While there may have been downward spirals or asset-fire sales in certain markets, we find little evidence that these effects are the result of fair-value accounting. We also find little support for claims that fair-value accounting leads to excessive write-downs of banks’ assets. If anything, empirical evidence to date points in the opposite direction, that is, towards overvaluation of bank assets. JEL-Classifications: G14, G15, G30, K22, M41, M42 Key Words: Mark-to-Market Accounting, Financial Institutions, Liquidity, Financial Crisis, Banks, Financial Regulation, Procyclicality, Contagion.
- Mutual versus stock insurers : fair premium, capital, and solvency (2007)
- Mutual insurance companies and stock insurance companies are different forms of organized risk sharing: policyholders and owners are two distinct groups in a stock insurer, while they are one and the same in a mutual. This distinction is relevant to raising capital, selling policies, and sharing risk in the presence of financial distress. Up-front capital is necessary for a stock insurer to offer insurance at a fair premium, but not for a mutual. In the presence of an owner-manager conflict, holding capital is costly. Free-rider and commitment problems limit the degree of capitalization that a stock insurer can obtain. The mutual form, by tying sales of policies to the provision of capital, can overcome these problems at the potential cost of less diversified owners. JEL Classification: G22, G32
- Board committees, CEO compensation, and earnings management (2007)
- We analyze the effect of committee formation on how corporate boards perform two main functions: setting CEO pay and overseeing the financial reporting process. The use of performance-based pay schemes induces the CEO to manipulate earnings, which leads to an increased need for board oversight. If the whole board is responsible for both functions, it is inclined to provide the CEO with a compensation scheme that is relatively insensitive to performance in order to reduce the burden of subsequent monitoring. When the functions are separated through the formation of committees, the compensation committee is willing to choose a higher pay-performance sensitivity as the increased cost of oversight is borne by the audit committee. Our model generates predictions relating the board committee structure to the pay-performance sensitivity of CEO compensation, the quality of board oversight, and the level of earnings management. JEL classifications: M41, D23, D73, G34, K22, L29
- Performance measurement and information production (2004)
- When performance measures are used for evaluation purposes, agents have some incentives to learn how their actions affect these measures. We show that the use of imperfect performance measures can cause an agent to devote too many resources (too much effort) to acquiring information. Doing so can be costly to the principal because the agent can use information to game the performance measure to the detriment of the principal. We analyze the impact of endogenous information acquisition on the optimal incentive strength and the quality of the performance measure used.
- Cross-selling lending and underwriting : scope economies and incentives (2009)
- We highlight the implications of combining underwriting services and lending for the choice of underwriters and for competition in the underwriting business. We show that cross-selling can increase underwriters’ incentives, and we explain three phenomena: first, that cross-selling is important for universal banks to enter the investment banking business; second, that cross-selling is particularly attractive for highly leveraged borrowers; third, that less-than-market rates are no prerequisite for cross-selling to benefit a bank’s clients. In our model, cross-selling reduces rents in the underwriting business. JEL Classification: G21, G24, D49