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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

asset pricing

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Since 2008, the Alternative Investments Conference has served as a forum for private equity, hedge fund, venture capital and other alternative asset professionals to network, share ideas and stay abreast of industry trends. The conference provides insights into current topics in alternative investments as well as the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most influential industry leaders.

This paper investigates the value relevance of acquired intangible assets using a comprehensive hand-collected dataset for 1,647 publicly listed US-firms from 2002 to 2018. This dataset allows us to disentangle acquired intangible assets into different classes (e.g., tech-, customer-, contract-, and marketing-intangible assets) and their respective economic lifetimes (i.e., definite vs indefinite useful lives) to test their relevance for equity investors. We predict and find positive associations for nearly all intangible assets, however with different economic significance. In particular, tech- and customer-related intangible assets are priced by equity investors. Furthermore, we find that definite intangible assets are more relevant than indefinite intangibles. These results are helpful for firms and their equity investors to understand the economic impact of intangible assets. Finally, the findings are particularly important for regulators given the recent proposition of the Financial Accounting Standards Board to subsume customer-related intangible assets and non-compete agreements into goodwill. While our results suggest that customer-related intangible assets are priced significantly by equity investors, this is not the case for non-compete agreements.

With consumer prices rising for a third straight month in June, consumer demand continuing to outstrip supply and stock valuations well above long-term averages, our experts explore whether the so-called “everything bubble” of asset prices could be set to burst – and examine what’s next for investors and firms.

Cryptocurrency has its critics, but it’s becoming an increasingly mainstream option for retail and institutional investors alike. In this Kenan Insight, we share some thoughts from former Co-president of Morgan Stanley Zoe Cruz and Rethinc. Labs Faculty Director Eric Ghysels on whether crypto has reached a tipping point for adoption by individual investors.

We comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed Reporting Threshold for Institutional Investment Managers (“Proposal”). We estimate the cost savings from the Proposal are economically small, and amount to 0.004% (0.008%) of assets under management for the average (median) affected filer, and 0.02% of assets for the smallest filer. This small cost savings needs to be weighed against the potentially large costs to investors and others created by eliminating a public disclosure that they heavily use.

May 23, 2020

Asset Insulators

We construct a new data set tracking the daily value of life insurers’ assets at the security level. Outside of the 2008–2009 crisis, a $1 drop in the market value of assets reduces an insurer’s market equity by $0.10. During the financial crisis, this pass-through rises to $1.

The COVID-19 financial downturn will have short- and long-term effects on personal and consumer finance, as explored by a panel of Kenan Institute-convened experts during a press briefing held yesterday. The full recording of this briefing—along with a deeper-dive analysis on the specific implications of the downturn on personal retirement income by Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown, is available in this week’s Kenan Insight.

What is the impact of higher technological volatility on asset prices and macroeconomic aggregates? I find the answer hinges on its sectoral origin. Volatility that originates from the consumption (investment) sector drops (raises) macroeconomic growth rates and stock prices.

What makes an asset institutional-quality? This paper proposes that one reason is the existing concentration of delegated investors in a market through a liquidity channel.

This study analyzes whether fair value estimates of fund net asset values (NAVs) produced by private equity managers are accurate and unbiased predictors of future discounted cash flows (DCF). We exploit the fact that private equity funds have finite lives to compare reported NAVs to DCFs based on realized cash flows for 384 venture capital (VC) funds and 195 buyout funds spanning 1988-2016.

This paper examines price discovery and liquidity provision in the secondary market for bitcoin -- an asset that has no observable fundamentals and is associated with a high level of speculative trading. Based on a comprehensive dataset of the full limit order book of BTC-e over the 2013-2014 period, we find that order informativeness generally increases with order aggressiveness within the first 10 tiers, but that this pattern reverses in the outer layers of the book. In a high volatility environment, aggressive orders seem to be more attractive to informed agents, as reflected by the increased information content of such orders, although market liquidity appears to migrate outward in response to the information asymmetry.