"Let Me Get Back to You" — A Machine Learning Approach to Measuring NonAnswers
Using a supervised machine learning framework on a large training set of questions and answers, we identify 1,364 trigrams that signal nonanswers in earnings call questions and answers (Q&A). We show that this glossary has economic relevance by applying it to contemporaneous stock market reactions after earnings calls. Our findings suggest that obstructing the flow of information leads to significantly lower cumulative abnormal stock returns and higher implied volatility. As both our method and glossary are free of financial context, we believe that the measure is applicable to other fields with a Q&A setup outside the contextual domain of financial earnings conference calls.
Herding Behavior and Systemic Risk in Global Stock Markets
Journal of Empirical Finance,
This paper provides new evidence of herding due to non- and fundamental information in global equity markets. Using quantile regressions applied to daily data for 33 countries, we investigate herding during the Eurozone crisis, China’s market crash in 2015–2016, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We find significant evidence of herding driven by non-fundamental information in case of negative tail market conditions for most countries. This study also investigates the relationship between herding and systemic risk, suggesting that herding due to fundamentals increases when systemic risk increases more than when driven by non-fundamentals. Granger causality tests and Johansen’s vector error-correction model provide solid empirical evidence of a strong interrelationship between herding and systemic risk, entailing that herding behavior may be an ex-ante aspect of systemic risk, with a more relevant role played by herding based on fundamental information in increasing systemic risk.
Hollywood, Wall Street, and Mistrusting Individual Investors
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization,
Individual investors reduce their trading activity in financial markets after the release of negatively biased Hollywood movies related to financial markets. These movies regularly depict financial markets and professionals active in them as marked by greed and corruption (Lichter et al. 1997). This decline in trading activity at the extensive margin comes together with depressed investor sentiment marked by higher likelihoods and volumes of selling than of buying transactions by those investors still active. Their avoidance of investing in and tendency to trade out of stocks related to companies in the financial industry, as well as their shift from actively managed mutual funds to passive vehicles (ETFs), provide evidence for the deterioration of investors’ trust in the financial industry and its managers. This channel is in line with existing literature on subjective beliefs in investment decisions and the impact of biased media coverage, such as the negative depiction of financial markets, shareholders, and managers in Hollywood movies.
23.05.2023 • 14/2023
Analysis of earnings calls: Blathering managers harm their company
If a senior executive refuses to give information to professional investors, the company's stock market value drops afterwards. This is shown in a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) after evaluating
1.2 million answers from tele-phone conferences.
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COVID-19 Pandemic and Global Corporate CDS Spreads
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the credit risk of companies around the world. We find that increased infection rates affect firms more adversely as reflected by the wider increase in their credit default swap (CDS) spreads if they are larger, more leveraged, closer to default, have worse governance and more limited stakeholder engagement, and operate in more highly exposed industries. We observe that country-level determinants such as GDP, political stability, foreign direct investment, and commitment to crisis management (income support, health and lockdown policies) also affect the sensitivity of CDS spreads to COVID-19 infection rates. A negative amplification effect exists for firms with high default probability in countries with fiscal constraints. A direct comparison between global CDS and stock markets reveals that the CDS market prices in a distinct set of corporate traits and government policies in pandemic times.
20.12.2022 • 31/2022
No deep recession despite energy crisis and rise in interest rates
High energy prices and deteriorating financial conditions are weighing on the German economy. However, the period of weakness over the winter is likely to be moderate, partly because the energy price brakes are supporting private incomes. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that due to the recovery from the pandemic in the first three quarters, gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.8% in 2022. Due to high energy prices, however, GDP will slightly decline in the winter months and stagnate on average in 2023. Inflation will fall from 7.8% in 2022 to 6.5% in 2023.
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