NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Intermediary Asset Pricing: New Evidence from Many Asset Classes

Zhiguo He, Bryan Kelly, Asaf Manela

NBER Working Paper No. 21920
Issued in January 2016
NBER Program(s):AP, CF, EFG, IFM

We find that shocks to the equity capital ratio of financial intermediaries—Primary Dealer counterparties of the New York Federal Reserve—possess significant explanatory power for crosssectional variation in expected returns. This is true not only for commonly studied equity and government bond market portfolios, but also for other more sophisticated asset classes such as corporate and sovereign bonds, derivatives, commodities, and currencies. Our intermediary capital risk factor is strongly pro-cyclical, implying counter-cyclical intermediary leverage. The price of risk for intermediary capital shocks is consistently positive and of similar magnitude when estimated separately for individual asset classes, suggesting that financial intermediaries are marginal investors in many markets and hence key to understanding asset prices.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21920

Published: Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2013. "Intermediary Asset Pricing," American Economic Review, vol 103(2), pages 732-770.

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