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Global Briefs

To Predict the Equity Market, Consult Economic Theory
Davide Pettunuzzo

Despite more than half a century of research on forecasting stock market returns, most predictive models perform quite poorly when they are put to the test of actually predicting equity returns. In fact, many authors, including Bossaerts and Hillion (1999), Brennan and Xia (2005), and Welch and Goyal (2008) suggest that equity returns cannot be predicted at all. This brief proposes a simple yet very effective solution to improve the quality of stock return predictions by taking economic theory into account.

Old Italian Violins: A New Investment Strategy?
Kathryn Graddy and Philip Margolis, 2013

Old Italian violins appear to have been a good investment. Figure 1 plots an index on a log scale adjusted for inflation since 1875. From about 1890 to 1960 violin prices were stagnant. Between about 1960 and 1980 there was a sharp rise in prices. Prices have risen, with some ups and downs, since 1980.

View Graddy's Global Finance Brief.

How do dollar exchange rate movements get passed through to US import prices?
Raphael S. Schoenle, 2012

This policy brief addresses these questions and provides three insights that contribute to a better understanding of the effect of exchange rate movements on US import prices. First, it shows that the overall response of import prices to exchange rate movements is muted and less that one-to-one. Second, import prices respond relatively little to exchange rate movements that are specific to a country, such a China, while they are more sensitive to broad US dollar movements. Third, market structure plays an important role in determining the exact impact of exchange rate movements: Countries with a large importer share in one product relative to other importers can use their market power to adjust their import prices more.

View Schoenle's Global Finance Brief.

Are lost decades in the stock market black swans?
Blake LeBaron, 2012

The day to day fluctuations in global stock markets are well known to investors. The chance of losing money on any given day in the market is only slightly less than even odds. However, as the time horizon expands, equity returns begin to reveal lower risk, and many investors have felt very safe betting on long-run returns. But what is the real risk exposure of these long-run investors?

View LeBaron's Global Finance Brief.

"The Impact of New Financial Regulations on Emerging Markets:
A Synthesis of a Global Survey"

Vladislav Prokopov, 2011

Master's candidate in international economics and finance leads project on financial regulations, studying whether a Basel III agreement can construct and maintain a sound financial and regulatory framework.

View Prokopov's Global Finance Brief.

"Start-up Firms in the Financial Crisis"
Catherine L. Mann, 2011

A professor of global finance finds that different kinds of start-ups are funded differently at inception.

View Mann's Global Finance Brief.

World Bank: "The Credit Crisis of Emerging Market Firms"
Esteban Ferro, PhD '11

PhD student proposes the question: "Is access to credit an obstacle for firms in emerging markets?" and presents data demonstrating how lack of access to credit can negatively impact a firm's bottom line. Further explains how firms with limited access to financial services are condemned to a slower growth path and diminished rate of return on profits per loan.

View Ferro's Global Finance Brief.

How will we pay down the Bush-Obama debt?
George Hall, 2010

By the end of 2009, privately-held U.S. Treasury debt stood at 53.0% of the gross domestic product (GDP), double the share from when President George W. Bush took office nine years ago. As illustrated in Figure 1, this ratio is below its peak of 66.2% in 1945. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will continue on its upward trajectory and return to World War II percentages by the end of 2012 as a consequence of extraordinarily large primary fiscal deficits and weak GDP growth.

View Hall's Global Finance Brief.