IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v102y2011i3p491-506.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The fragile capital structure of hedge funds and the limits to arbitrage

Author

Listed:
  • Liu, Xuewen
  • Mello, Antonio S.

Abstract

During a financial crisis, when investors are most in need of liquidity and accurate prices, hedge funds cut their arbitrage positions and hoard cash. The paper explains this phenomenon. We argue that the fragile nature of the capital structure of hedge funds, combined with low market liquidity, creates a risk of coordination in redemptions among hedge fund investors that severely limits hedge funds' arbitrage capabilities. We present a model of hedge funds' optimal asset allocation in the presence of coordination risk among investors. We show that hedge fund managers behave conservatively and even abstain from participating in the market once coordination risk is factored into their investment decisions. The model suggests a new source of limits to arbitrage.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Xuewen & Mello, Antonio S., 2011. "The fragile capital structure of hedge funds and the limits to arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 491-506.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:102:y:2011:i:3:p:491-506
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2011.06.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X11001498
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicole M. Boyson & Christof W. Stahel & René M. Stulz, 2010. "Hedge Fund Contagion and Liquidity Shocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1789-1816, October.
    2. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2003. "Bubbles and Crashes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 173-204, January.
    3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1116-1147, December.
    4. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2009. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2201-2238, June.
    5. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-597, June.
    6. Gary Gorton, 2008. "The Panic of 2007," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2372, Yale School of Management.
    7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Amil Dasgupta & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Does One Soros Make a Difference? A Theory of Currency Crises with Large and Small Traders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 87-113.
    8. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Liquidity Black Holes," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-18.
    9. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    10. Guillaume Plantin, 2009. "Learning by Holding and Liquidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 395-412.
    11. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "A Theory of Bank Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2431-2465, December.
    12. Gromb, Denis & Vayanos, Dimitri, 2002. "Equilibrium and welfare in markets with financially constrained arbitrageurs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 361-407.
    13. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
    14. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    15. Gorton, Gary & Winton, Andrew, 2003. "Financial intermediation," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 431-552 Elsevier.
    16. Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Marking-to-Market: Panacea or Pandora's Box?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 435-460, May.
    17. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation, and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 287-327, April.
    18. Itay Goldstein & Ady Pauzner, 2005. "Demand-Deposit Contracts and the Probability of Bank Runs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1293-1327, June.
    19. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Financial Regulation in a System Context," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 229-274.
    20. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
    21. Goldstein, Itay & Pauzner, Ady, 2004. "Contagion of self-fulfilling financial crises due to diversification of investment portfolios," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 151-183, November.
    22. Chen, Qi & Goldstein, Itay & Jiang, Wei, 2010. "Payoff complementarities and financial fragility: Evidence from mutual fund outflows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 239-262, August.
    23. Jeremy C. Stein, 2005. "Why are Most Funds Open-End? Competition and the Limits of Arbitrage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 247-272.
    24. Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2010. "How Debt Markets Have Malfunctioned in the Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    25. Amil Dasgupta, 2004. "Financial Contagion Through Capital Connections: A Model of the Origin and Spread of Bank Panics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1049-1084, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lan, Yingcong & Wang, Neng & Yang, Jinqiang, 2013. "The economics of hedge funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 300-323.
    2. Cho, Hoon & Ryu, Doojin & Sung, Sangwook, 2017. "Do institutions behave rationally in distressed markets?," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-103, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Agarwal, Vikas & Zhao, Haibei, 2016. "Interfund lending in mutual fund families: Role of internal capital markets," CFR Working Papers 15-09 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    4. repec:wly:jfutmk:v:37:y:2017:i:8:p:836-861 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jonathan Witmer, 2017. "Strategic Complementarities and Money Market Fund Liquidity Management," Staff Working Papers 17-14, Bank of Canada.
    6. Koen van der Veer & Anouk Levels & Claudia Lambert & Luis Molestina Vivar & Christian Weistroffer & Raymond Chaudron & René de Sousa van Stralen, 2017. "Developing macroprudential policy for alternative investment funds," DNB Occasional Studies 1504, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Aiken, Adam L. & Clifford, Christopher P. & Ellis, Jesse A., 2015. "Hedge funds and discretionary liquidity restrictions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 197-218.
    8. Gi H. Kim & Haitao Li & Weina Zhang, 2017. "The CDS‐Bond Basis Arbitrage and the Cross Section of Corporate Bond Returns," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(8), pages 836-861, August.
    9. Dötz, Niko & Weth, Mark, 2013. "Cash holdings of German open-end equity funds: Does ownership matter?," Discussion Papers 47/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Agarwal, Vikas & Zhao, Haibei, 2015. "Interfund lending in mutual fund families: Role of internal capital markets," CFR Working Papers 15-09, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    11. Agarwal, Vikas & Aragon, George O. & Shi, Zhen, 2015. "Funding liquidity risk of funds of hedge funds: Evidence from their holdings," CFR Working Papers 15-12, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Limits to arbitrage; Coordination risk; Fragile capital structure; Market liquidity;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:102:y:2011:i:3:p:491-506. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.