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Should We Fear Derivatives?

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  • Stulz, Rene M.

    (Ohio State U)

Abstract

This paper discusses the extent to which derivatives pose threats to firms and to the economy. After reviewing the derivatives markets and putting in perspective the various measures of the size of these markets, the paper shows who uses derivatives and why. The difficulties firms face in valuing derivatives portfolios are evaluated. Although academics pay much attention to no-arbitrage pricing results, the paper points out that there can be considerable subjectivity in the pricing of derivatives that do not have highly liquid markets. It is shown that the known risks of derivatives portfolios can generally be measured and managed well at the firm level. However, derivatives can create systemic risks when a market participant becomes excessively large relative to particular derivatives markets. Overall, the benefits of derivatives outweigh the potential threats.

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File URL: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/papers/2004/2004-5.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004-5.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2004-5

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  1. Nicolas P. B. Bollen & Robert E. Whaley, 2004. "Does Net Buying Pressure Affect the Shape of Implied Volatility Functions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 711-753, 04.
  2. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  3. Bernardo, Antonio E & Cornell, Bradford, 1997. " The Valuation of Complex Derivatives by Major Investment Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 785-98, June.
  4. Conrad, Jennifer, 1989. " The Price Effect of Option Introduction," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 487-98, June.
  5. Guay, Wayne & Kothari, S. P, 2003. "How much do firms hedge with derivatives?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 423-461, December.
  6. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
  7. Allen M. Poteshman & Vitaly Serbin, 2003. "Clearly Irrational Financial Market Behavior: Evidence from the Early Exercise of Exchange Traded Stock Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 37-70, 02.
  8. Richard K. Green & Michael LaCour-Little, 1998. "The Truth About Ostriches: Who Never Prepays their Mortgage and Why They Don’t," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 98-01, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  9. Bollen, Nicolas P. B., 1998. "A note on the impact of options on stock return volatility1," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1181-1191, September.
  10. Rogers, Daniel A., 2002. "Does executive portfolio structure affect risk management? CEO risk-taking incentives and corporate derivatives usage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 271-295, March.
  11. Tufano, Peter, 1996. " Who Manages Risk? An Empirical Examination of Risk Management Practices in the Gold Mining Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1097-1137, September.
  12. John R. Graham & Daniel A. Rogers, 2002. "Do Firms Hedge in Response to Tax Incentives?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 815-839, 04.
  13. Guay, Wayne R., 1999. "The impact of derivatives on firm risk: An empirical examination of new derivative users1," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-3), pages 319-351, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mark Carey & René M. Stulz, 2007. "The Risks of Financial Institutions," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number care06-1.
  2. Gatopoulos, Georgios & Loubergé, Henri, 2013. "Combined use of foreign debt and currency derivatives under the threat of currency crises: The case of Latin American firms," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 54-75.
  3. María Rodríguez-Moreno & Sergio Mayordomo & Juan Ignacio Peña, 2012. "Derivatives Holdings and Systemic Risk in the U.S. Banking Sector," Faculty Working Papers 21/12, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  4. Pierre-Charles Pradier, 2011. "Administering Systemic Risk vs. Administering Justice: What Can We Do Now that We Have Agreed to Pay Differences?," Post-Print hal-00605180, HAL.
  5. W. Scott Frame & Lawrence J. White, 2004. "Fussing and fuming over Fannie and Freddie: how much smoke, how much fire?," Working Paper 2004-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Florence Guillaume & Wim Schoutens, 2012. "Calibration risk: Illustrating the impact of calibration risk under the Heston model," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 57-79, April.
  7. Wall, Larry D. & Eisenbeis, Robert A. & Frame, W. Scott, 2005. "Resolving large financial intermediaries: Banks versus housing enterprises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 386-425, April.
  8. Mariano Graziano, 2012. "Italian nonfinancial firms and derivatives," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 139, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Kim, Young Sang & Mathur, Ike & Nam, Jouahn, 2006. "Is operational hedging a substitute for or a complement to financial hedging?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 834-853, September.
  10. Carruthers, Bruce G., 2013. "Diverging derivatives: Law, governance and modern financial markets," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 386-400.

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