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A "wreckers theory" of financial distress

  • von Kalckreuth, Ulf

In recent years, a number of papers have established a new empirical regularity. Stocks of distressed firms vastly underperform those of financially healthy firms. It is not necessary to attribute the negative excess returns of distressed firms to inefficient or irrational markets. We show that negative excess returns are the equilibrium outcome when a subset of participants is able to draw returns "in kind" from distressed companies. For firms close to bankruptcy, non-cash returns to ownership will be the dominant form of return to equity. If markets expect a contest for control, these returns will show up in stock valuation. The governance problem described here creates a link between the financial position of a firm and real allocation that may amplify macroeconomic real or financial shocks.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2005,40.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4234
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  16. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1988. "Corporate governance : Voting rights and majority rules," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 203-235, January.
  17. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  18. Simon Johnson & Peter Boone & Alasdair Breach & Eric Friedman, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Asian Financial Crisis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 297, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  19. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
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