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Hedge Funds and the Collapse of Long-Term Capital Management

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  • Franklin R. Edward

Abstract

The Fed-engineered rescue of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) in September 1998 set off alarms throughout financial markets about the activities of hedge funds and the stability of financial markets in general. With only $4.8 billion in equity, LTCM managed to leverage itself to the hilt by borrowing more than $125 billion from banks and securities firms and entering into derivatives contracts totaling more than $1 trillion (notional). When LTCM's speculations went sour in the summer of 1998, the impending liquidation of LTCM's portfolio threatened to destabilize financial markets throughout the world. Public policy response to LTCM should focus on risks of systemic fragility and ways in which bank regulation can be improved.

Suggested Citation

  • Franklin R. Edward, 1999. "Hedge Funds and the Collapse of Long-Term Capital Management," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 189-210, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:189-210
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.2.189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    2. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    3. Summers, L.H. & Summers, V.P., 1989. "When Financial Markets Work Too Well : A Cautious Case For A Securities Transactions Tax," Papers t12, Columbia - Center for Futures Markets.
    4. Stephen Brown & William Goetzmann & James Park, 1998. "Conditions for Survival: Changing Risk and the Performance of Hedge Fund Managers and CTAs," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm83, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2008.
    5. Stiglitz, J.E., 1989. "Using Tax Policy To Curb Speculative Short-Term Trading," Papers t2, Columbia - Center for Futures Markets.
    6. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 1998. "High Water Marks," NBER Working Papers 6413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 1997. "Empirical Characteristics of Dynamic Trading Strategies: The Case of Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 275-302.
    8. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    9. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 1998. "On the Regulation of Fee Structures in Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 6639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Franklin R. Edwards, 1983. "The clearing association in futures markets: Guarantor and regulator," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 369-392, December.
    11. repec:aei:rpbook:52719 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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