Do Margin Requirements Affect Asset Prices?
Some recent theoretical papers show that margin requirements can affect asset prices. Such results are important, for example, to understand the unconventional polices implemented by the Fed during the financial crisis of 2007-2010. However, empirical evidence remains scarce. The present article contributes to filling this gap. It shows that an aggregate margin factor predicts future excess returns of the S&P 500, and that stocks with high exposures to the ted spread pay on average higher risk-adjusted returns. Both findings are in accordance with the theory that relates margins and prices.
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