NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Itamar Drechsler

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Working Papers

July 2014The Shorting Premium and Asset Pricing Anomalies
with Qingyi Freda Drechsler: w20282
Short-rebate fees are a strong predictor of the cross-section of stock returns, both gross and net of fees. We document a large "shorting premium": the cheap-minus-expensive-to-short (CME) portfolio of stocks has a monthly average gross return of 1.43%, a net return of 0.91%, and a 1.53% four-factor alpha. We show that short fees interact strongly with the returns to eight of the largest and most well-known cross-sectional anomalies. The anomalies effectively disappear within the 80% of stocks that have low short fees, but are greatly amplified among those with high fees. We propose a joint explanation for these findings: the shorting premium is compensation for the concentrated short risk borne by the small fraction of investors who do most shorting. Because it is on the short side, it r...
May 2014A Model of Monetary Policy and Risk Premia
with Alexi Savov, Philipp Schnabl: w20141
We present a dynamic heterogeneous-agent asset pricing model in which monetary policy affects the risk premium component of the cost of capital. Risk tolerant agents (banks) borrow from risk averse agents (depositors) and invest in risky assets subject to a reserve requirement. By varying the nominal interest rate, the central bank affects the spread banks pay for external funding (i.e., leverage), a link that we show has strong empirical support. Lower nominal rates result in increased leverage, lower risk premia and overall cost of capital, and higher volatility. The effects of policy shocks are amplified via bank balance sheet effects. We use the model to implement dynamic interventions such as a ``Greenspan put'' and forward guidance, and analyze their impact on asset prices and volat...
June 2011A Pyrrhic Victory? - Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk
with Viral V. Acharya, Philipp Schnabl: w17136
We show that financial sector bailouts and sovereign credit risk are intimately linked. A bailout benefits the economy by ameliorating the under-investment problem of the financial sector. However, increasing taxation of the non-financial sector to fund the bailout may be inefficient since it weakens its incentive to invest, decreasing growth. Instead, the sovereign may choose to fund the bailout by diluting existing government bondholders, resulting in a deterioration of the sovereign's creditworthiness. This deterioration feeds back onto the financial sector, reducing the value of its guarantees and existing bond holdings and increasing its sensitivity to future sovereign shocks. We provide empirical evidence for this two-way feedback between financial and sovereign credit risk using ...

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