Erik Stafford

Graduate School of Business
Harvard University
Baker 371
Boston, MA 02163
Tel: 617/495-8064

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2013The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments
with Jakub W. Jurek: w19643
We document that the risks and pre-fee returns of broad hedge fund indices can be accurately matched with simple equity index put writing strategies, which provide monthly liquidity and complete transparency over their state-contingent payoff profiles. This nonlinear risk exposure combines with large allocations, typical among investors in alternatives, to produce required rates of return that are more than twice as large as those implied by popular linear factor models. Despite earning annualized excess returns over 6% between 1996 and 2010, many hedge fund investors have not covered their proper cost of capital.

Published: JUREK, J. W. and STAFFORD, E. (2015), The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments. The Journal of Finance, 70: 2185–2226. doi:10.1111/jofi.12269

September 2011Crashes and Collateralized Lending
with Jakub W. Jurek: w17422
This paper develops a parsimonious static model for characterizing financing terms in collateralized lending markets. We characterize the systematic risk exposures for a variety of securities and develop a simple indifference-pricing framework to value the systematic crash risk exposure of the collateral. We then apply Modigliani and Miller's (1958) Proposition Two (MM) to split the cost of bearing this risk between the borrower and lender, resulting in a schedule of haircuts and financing rates. The model produces comparative statics and time-series dynamics that are consistent with the empirical features of repo market data, including the dramatic change in financing terms for structured products during the credit crisis of 2007-2008.
May 2005Asset Fire Sales (and Purchases) in Equity Markets
with Joshua D. Coval: w11357
This paper examines asset fire sales, and institutional price pressure more generally, in equity markets, using market prices of mutual fund transactions caused by capital flows from 1980 to 2003. Funds experiencing large outflows (inflows) tend to decrease (increase) existing positions, which creates price pressure in the securities held in common by these funds. Forced transactions represent a significant cost of financial distress for mutual funds. We find that investors who trade against constrained mutual funds earn highly significant returns for providing liquidity when few others are willing or able. In addition, future flow-driven transactions are predictable, creating an incentive to front-run the anticipated forced trades by funds experiencing extreme capital flows.

Published: Coval, Joshua & Stafford, Erik, 2007. "Asset fire sales (and purchases) in equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 479-512, November. citation courtesy of

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