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Why Does Bad News Increase Volatility and Decrease Leverage?

  • Ana Fostel
  • John Geanakoplos

The literature on leverage until now shows how an increase in volatility reduces leverage. However, in order to explain pro-cyclical leverage it assumes that bad news increases volatility. This paper suggests a reason why bad news is more often than not associated with higher future volatility. We show that, in a model with endogenous leverage and heterogeneous beliefs, agents have the incentive to invest mostly in technologies that become volatile in bad times. Together with the old literature this explains pro-cyclical leverage. The result also gives rationale to the pattern of volatility smiles observed in the stock options since 1987. Finally, the paper presents for the first time a dynamic model in which an asset is endogenously traded simultaneously at different margin requirements in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/206.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/206
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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Campbell, John Y. & Hentschel, Ludger, 1992. "No news is good news *1: An asymmetric model of changing volatility in stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 281-318, June.
  4. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2007. "Market liquidity and funding liquidity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24478, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Ana Fostel & John Geanakoplos, 2008. "Collateral restrictions and liquidity under-supply: a simple model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 441-467, June.
  6. John Geanakoplos & Ana Fostel, 2008. "Leverage Cycles and the Anxious Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1211-44, September.
  7. John Geanakoplos, 2010. "Solving the Present Crisis and Managing the Leverage Cycle," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1751, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
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  10. Bates, David S., 2000. "Post-'87 crash fears in the S&P 500 futures option market," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 181-238.
  11. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
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  13. John Geanakoplos, 2009. "The Leverage Cycle," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1715R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2010.
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  15. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
  16. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2001. "International and domestic collateral constraints in a model of emerging market crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 513-548, December.
  17. Araújo, Aloísio & Kubler, Felix & Schommer, Susan, 2012. "Regulating collateral-requirements when markets are incomplete," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 450-476.
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  22. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  23. Ana Fostel & John Geanakoplos, 2011. "Endogenous Leverage: VaR and Beyond," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1800, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  24. John Geanakoplos, 2010. "The Leverage Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 1-65 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. John Geanakoplos, 2010. "Solving the present crisis and managing the leverage cycle," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 101-131.
  26. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
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