Low Interest Rates and Business Investments – Update October 2020

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments – Update October 2020

There has been several new research on the topic of Low Interest Rates and Business Investments since my last post.

Decision Making by Firms in Low Interest rates environment

  • Invest and Grow
  • Merge / Consolidate
  • Pay Dividends
  • Buyback Shares
  • Divestures
  • Acquisitions
  • Horizontal Mergers (Market Share)
  • Vertical Mergers (Costs)
  • Innovation M&A (New Tech, New Product)

Key Terms

  • Business Investments
  • Monetary Polcy
  • Zero Lower Bound
  • Interest Rates
  • Fed Funds Rate
  • Corporate Finance
  • Hurdle Rates
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Internal Rate of Return IRR
  • CAGR Compond Annual Growth Rate
  • Cost of Capital
  • Discounted Cash Flow
  • Net Present Value
  • Mergers vs Investments
  • Organic Growth
  • Inorganic Growth
  • State of the Industry
  • State of the Economy
  • Liquidity Financial
  • Bank Lending
  • Capital Markets
  • Economic Growth
  • Corporate Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Strategic Management

My Related Posts

Increasing Market Concentration in USA: Update April 2019

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Cash and Investments: Corporate Savings Glut in USA

Low Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness

Low Interest Rates and Risk taking channel of Monetary Policy

Low Interest Rates and International Investment Position of USA

Low Interest Rates and Bank’s Profitability – Update May 2019

Low Interest Rates and Banks’ Profitability : Update July 2017

Low Interest Rates and Banks Profitability: Update – December 2016

Impact of Low Interest Rates on Bank’s Profitability

The Decline in Long Term Real Interest Rates

Cash and Investments: Corporate Savings Glut in USA

Why do Firms buyback their Shares? Causes and Consequences.

Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

Key Sources of Reserach

Lengthy era of rock-bottom interest rates leaving its mark on U.S. economy

Weak demand in U.S. and other rich nations explains historic shift

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/10/03/low-interest-rates/

Do Interest Rates Affect Business Investment? Evidence from Australian Company-level Data

Jonathan Hambur and Gianni La Cava

Low Interest Rates Have Benefits … and Costs

Kevin L. Kliesen

October 1, 2010

https://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/regional-economist/october-2010/low-interest-rates-have-benefits–and-costs

Low for Long?
Causes and Consequences of Persistently Low Interest Rates

Geneva Reports on the World Economy 17 Charles Bean

London School of Economics and CEPR

Christian Broda

Duquesne Capital Management

Takatoshi Ito

SIPA Columbia University and CEPR

Randall Kroszner

Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

2015

Low Interest Rates, Market Power, and Productivity Growth∗

Ernest Liu

Princeton University

Atif Mian
Princeton University and NBER

Amir Sufi
University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER

August 18, 2020

The Economic Effects of Low Interest Rates and Unconventional Monetary Policy

17 September 2020

Rochelle Guttmann, Dana Lawson and Peter Rickards

RBA

https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2020/sep/the-economic-effects-of-low-interest-rates-and-unconventional-monetary-policy.html

Firms’ Investment Decisions and Interest Rates

Kevin Lane and Tom Rosewall

RBA

Has Business Fixed Investment Really Been Unusually Low?

By François Gourio

Chicago Fed Letter, No. 418, 2019

https://www.chicagofed.org/publications/chicago-fed-letter/2019/418

Fiscal Policy with High Debt and Low Interest Rates

William Gale

July 1, 2019

The impact of negative interest rates on banks and firms 

Carlo Altavilla, Lorenzo Burlon, Mariassunta Giannetti, Sarah Holton  

08 November 2019

https://voxeu.org/article/impact-negative-interest-rates-banks-and-firms

Global Trends in Interest Rates

Marco Del Negro Domenico Giannone Marc P. Giannoni Andrea Tambalotti

Staff Report No. 866 September 2018

Financial stability implications of a prolonged period of low interest rates

Report submitted by a Working Group established by the Committee on the Global Financial System

The Group was co-chaired by Ulrich Bindseil (European Central Bank) and Steven B Kamin (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

July 2018

BIS

Eight centuries of global real interest rates, R-G, and the ‘suprasecular’ decline, 1311-2018.

Paul Schmelzing

https://economics.rutgers.edu/downloads-hidden-menu/news-and-events/workshops/money-history-and-finance/1823-paulschmelzing/file

Low Interest Rates and Risk Taking: Evidence from Individual Investment Decisions

Review of Financial Studies

49 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016 Last revised: 29 Aug 2018

Chen Lian

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Yueran Ma

University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

Carmen Wang

Harvard University – Department of Economics; HBS Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit

Date Written: August 22, 2018

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2809191

MONETARY POLICY, CORPORATE FINANCE AND INVESTMENT

James Cloyne Clodomiro Ferreira Maren Froemel Paolo Surico

Determinants of the real interest rate

Remarks by Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the National Treasury Management Agency

Dublin, 28 November 2019

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date/2019/html/ecb.sp191128_1~de8e7283e6.en.html

Understanding Weak Capital Investment: the Role of Market Concentration and Intangibles∗

Nicolas Crouzet and Janice Eberly

Prepared for the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

August 23 – 25, 2018 This version: May 14, 2019

Monetary policy in advanced economies

Low policy rates are here to stay

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/monetary-policy-low-interest-rates-advanced-economies.html

Have low interest rates led to excessive risk taking?

https://www.aeaweb.org/forum/311/have-low-interest-rates-led-to-excessive-risk-taking

The Policy Perils of Low Interest Rates

The consequences of prolonged low interest rates in Europe

https://www.gisreportsonline.com/the-consequences-of-prolonged-low-interest-rates-in-europe,economy,2465.html

Increasing Market Concentration – Update October 2020

Increasung Market Concentration – Update October 2020

In this post I have compiled several newly published papers books and articles on the subject of Increasing market concentration. Mainly in 2019 and 2020.

Books
  • The Curse of Bigness
  • The Myth of Capitalism
Several new reserach papers were published by
  • Cato Institute
  • Brookings Institution
  • Federal Reserve

Reports

Rational decision making by the firms

  • Organic Growth – Use business investments to grow business – During growth phase of the firm and the industry
  • Inorganic Growth – Use Mergers and Acquisitions to grow – During mature phase and Declining Markets due to Technological Changes
  • Casacading effects
    • Leaders merge
    • Laggards merge
    • Suppliers merge
  • Micro Motives and Macro Behavior
  • What is good for a firm, May not be good for economy

Key Terms

  • Shareholder Capitalism
  • Market Concentration
  • Industry Concentration
  • Horizontal Merger
  • Verical Merger
  • Mergers and Acquisition
  • Competition Policy
  • Profits and Profitability
  • Corporate Finance
  • Anti Trust Laws
  • Industry Consolidation
  • Capitalism
  • Market Share
  • Competitive Dynamics
  • Organic Growth
  • Inorganic Growth
  • Business Investments
  • Macro Growth
  • Market Maturity
  • Product Life Cycles
  • Technological Changes
  • Wealth and Income Inequality
  • Monopoly
  • Oligopoly
  • Cross Border Mergers
  • Innovation based Mergers in Technology
  • HHI

My Related Posts

Shareholder Capitalism: Rising Market Concentration, Slower Productivity Growth, Rising Inequality, Rising Profits, and Rising Equities Markets

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

Competition, Concentration, and Anti-Trust Laws in the USA

Concentration, Investment, and Growth

Increasing Market Concentration in USA: Update April 2019

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

The Decline in Long Term Real Interest Rates

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Why do Firms buyback their Shares? Causes and Consequences.

Cash and Investments: Corporate Savings Glut in USA

Key sources of Research

What if Rising Concentration were an Indication of More Cimpetition, not Less?

Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses to Market Concentration

The Rise of Corporate Market Power

Market Concentration Is Threatening the U.S. Economy

The United States’s low-growth/high-inequality problem is due to too few firms holding too much power.CHAZEN GLOBAL INSIGHTSJoseph E. Stiglitz March 12, 2019 

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/articles/chazen-global-insights/market-concentration-threatening-us-economy

Increasing market concentration in Europe is more likely to be a sign of strength than a cause for concern 

Tommaso Bighelli, Filippo di Mauro, Marc Melitz, Matthias Mertens  13 October 2020

https://voxeu.org/article/increasing-market-concentration-europe-more-likely-be-sign-strength-cause-concern

The Economics and Politics of Market Concentration

Thomas Philippon

https://www.nber.org/reporter/2019number4/economics-and-politics-market-concentration

The Great Consolidation:
Industry and Equity Market Concentration after the Crisis

Top 5 Highly Concentrated Manufacturing Industries

by Marisa Lifschutz, Senior Analyst – Team Lead 
May 02 2019 

https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-insider/analyst-insights/top-5-highly-concentrated-manufacturing-industries/

How Market Power has Increased US Inequality

Are Markets Becoming Less Competitive?

Federal Reserve of Richmond

2019

https://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_brief/2019/eb_19-06/

Trends in Financial Market Concentration and Their Implications for Market Stability

Is Rising Concentration Hampering Productivity Growth?

Peter J. Klenow, Huiyu Li, and Theodore Naff

Rising Bank Concentration

Dean CorbaeUniversity of Wisconsin – Madison and NBER

Pablo D’Erasmo

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

https://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/staff-reports/rising-bank-concentration

Are Markets Too Concentrated?

Industries are increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer firms. But is that a bad thing?Article by: Tim Sablik

Richmond Federal Reserve

https://www.richmondfed.com/publications/research/econ_focus/2018/q1/cover_story

Have Acquisitions of Failed Banks Increased the Concentration of U.S. Banking Markets? 

By Wheelock, David C.

https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-257675083/have-acquisitions-of-failed-banks-increased-the-concentration

Large Banks Improve Competition and Consumer Choice in Local Markets

Sean Campbell•20 May 2019•

https://www.fsforum.com/types/press/blog/large-banks-improve-competition-consumer-choice/

Low Interest Rates Don’t Drive Market Concentration

A critical assessment of Atif Mian, Amir Sufi and Ernest Liu’s paper 

https://nathantankus.substack.com/p/low-interest-rates-dont-drive-market

Market Power and Monetary Policy

Speech given by

Andrew G Haldane Chief Economist Bank of England

Competition and Productivity: A Review of Evidence

Thomas J. Holmes

University of Minnesota,
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis,
and National Bureau of Economic Research

James A. Schmitz, Jr.
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

2010

Understanding market concentration: internet-based applications from the banking industry

Abstract

Fred H. Hays
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Sidne Gail Ward University of Missouri-Kansas City

Concentration, market power and dynamism in the euro area

Monopoly Myths: Are Markets Becoming More Concentrated?

Joe Kennedy 

June 29, 2020

https://itif.org/publications/2020/06/29/monopoly-myths-are-markets-becoming-more-concentrated

BENEFITS OF COMPETITION AND INDICATORS

2016

Council of Economic Advisors

Obama whitehouse

Why Is the Stock Market So Strong When the Economy Is Weak?

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition

Jonathan TepperDenise Hearn (With)

ISBN: 978-1-119-54819-5 November 2018 320 Pages

https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Myth+of+Capitalism%3A+Monopolies+and+the+Death+of+Competition-p-9781119548195

Number of Banks in USA

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/USNUM

Number of Listed Companies in USA

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDOM01USA644NWDB

Long-Term Government Bond Yields: 10-year: Main (Including Benchmark) for the United States 

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IRLTLT01USM156N

Mergers and Acquisitions Data for USA and Worldwide

http://www.imaa-institute.org

Market Power, Inequality, and Financial Instability

Isabel Cair ́o and Jae Sim 

2020-057

What Happened to U.S. Business Dynamism?1

Ufuk Akcigit and Sina T. Ates

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/what-happened-to-us-business-dynamism-20200214.htm

Untangling the Complex Causes of Inequality

December 4, 2018

https://www.frbatlanta.org/economy-matters/economic-research/2018/12/04/untangling-the-complex-causes-of-income-wealth-and-opportunity-inequality

Capitalism is not the source of our economic struggles

The real culprit is less obvious but can be remedied

Increased corporate concentration and the influence of market power

The New Economic Concentration

The competition that justifies capitalism is being destroyed—by capitalists.

BY DAVID DAYEN

JANUARY 16, 2019

https://prospect.org/power/new-economic-concentration/

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES ON MARKET CONCENTRATION AND MARKET POWER

By
Dennis L. Weisman

The Curse of Bigness
Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu

The Future of FX Markets – Update October 2019

The Future of FX Markets – Update October 2019

 

This is the biggest financial market trading currencies worth USD 6.6 trillion every day

There are two segments of the FX market

  • Spot Trading
  • FX Swaps, Options, and Derivatives Market

Spot trading market is OTC.

FX Swaps, Options, and Derivatives market is changing rapidly.

There two main features of these changes.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions in Trading platforms
  • Move of OTC FX trading to exchanges

I have tried to highlight many of these changes below.

Mergers and Acquisitions  in Trading Platforms

  • 2012 Reuters acquires FX ALL
  • 2014 ICAP combines EBS and BrokerTec
  • 2015 BATS global matkets acquires Hotspot FX
  • 2015 360T was bought by Deutsche Börse
  • 2017 CBOE Global Matkets acquires Bats Global Markets
  • 2018 CME Group acquires NEX
  • 2018 360t acquires Gain GTX

 

Leading electronic FX players:

  • CME,
  • EBS,
  • Reuters,
  • FXall,
  • FX Connext/Currenex,
  • Hotspot FXi,
  • LavaFX,
  • 360T
  • MilanFX, and
  • FXMarketSpace.

 

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/best-foreign-exchange-trading-platform-the-nominees-20170329

Best Foreign Exchange Trading Platform: The Nominees

The 2017 winners will be announced at a gala event on May 25 in London at the V&A Museum

By Joel Clark

Updated: April 3, 2017 4:14 p.m. GMT

The 2017 winners will be announced at a gala event on May 25 in London at the V&A Museum.

Here are the nominees for: Best Foreign Exchange Trading Platform

360T
360T has been a reliable FX platform for institutional asset managers and corporates since inception in 2000, but its acquisition by Deutsche Börse in 2015 has given it increased firepower. With offices in Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, India and Dubai, the platform has 1,600 users globally and sources liquidity from 200 providers. The business is managed by long-time chief executive Carlo Kölzer, now also Deutsche Börse’s head of FX. It made several senior hires in 2016 to strengthen its sales effort in the US and Nordics. Most recently, industry veteran Simon Jones joined as chief growth officer and board member.

EBS BrokerTec
Part of Michael Spencer’s NEX Group, EBS’s average daily volume in 2016 was $85.8 billion, down nearly 10% year-on-year, but it bounced to $93.2 billion in January 2017. The pace of change may have slowed after chief executive Gil Mandelzis left in 2016, but EBS remains the market’s primary trading platform for major currencies. Under new CEO Seth Johnson, it introduced EBS Live Ultra, a faster data feed that updates price at intervals of either 100 milliseconds or 20 milliseconds. An upgrade in February offers a five millisecond feed, reducing reliance on the controversial practice of “last look”.

FastMatch
FastMatch, which was founded in 2012, aims to provide the fastest access to reliable FX liquidity using the same technology that underpins Credit Suisse’s Crossfinder matching engine. Average daily volume reached $12.7 billion in 2016, up from $8.4 billion in 2015. FastMatch traded $39.8 billion on June 24 and $38.0 billion on November 9, following the Brexit vote and US elections respectively, putting it on a par with established platforms that often see a spike in volume at times of market stress. The platform made its proprietary algorithmic and transaction cost analysis services available to all subscribers last year.

FX Connect
The State Street owned business has existed since 1996 and sources liquidity from more than 60 firms, including both top-tier banks and regional specialists. Of the largest 50 global asset management firms, State Street estimates that 47 use FX Connect. The platform saw a peak day on June 30, 2016, in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, when FX trading volumes exceeded $400 billion, with more than 47,000 transactions processed. FX Connect supports a range of execution methods, including relationship-based request-for-quote, request-for-stream, voice trading and algo execution services.

FXSpotStream
Led by chief executive Alan Schwarz, bank-owned FXSpotStream has become an enduring presence in the rapidly changing FX market. With an average daily volume of $18.2 billion in 2016, and significant year-on-year growth reported in seven out of 12 months, the platform is attracting a growing pool of liquidity. FXSpotStream does not charge brokerage fees to either clients or liquidity providers. With liquidity provided by 12 global banks – double the number it had had when it started out in 2011 – the business now has offices in London, New York and Tokyo.

Hotspot
Turnover on institutional FX platform Hotspot has remained resilient in the past year, with an average daily volume fluctuating between $29.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016, $25.7 billion in Q3 and $26.7 billion in Q4. Since its acquisition by Bats Global Markets in 2015, Hotspot has launched a UK matching engine, developed trading in outright deliverable forwards and launched Hotspot Link, which allows clients to design their own relationship-based liquidity pools. The platform grew its market share from 11.5% to 12.5% last year, according to Bats. Hotspot recently hired Matt Vickerman from Sun Trading and Rahul Bowry from Markit.

JP Morgan Markets
While some of its competitors have pulled back, JP Morgan has continued to invest heavily in its electronic platform and has achieved significant growth in activity on eXecute, the FX and commodities trading platform on JP Morgan Markets. By December 2016, the average number of daily users trading on eXecute had increased 43% year-on-year. Mobile usage had increased by 23% year-on-year, while the biggest trade on a mobile device stands at $100 million. JP Morgan has set aside $100 million to further develop its electronic offerings this year.

Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters’ FX platforms support a combined average daily trading volume of $350 billion, representing a substantial chunk of global market turnover. FXall, the dealer-to-client platform acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2012, has 1,700 institutional clients and 160 market makers. The company’s interbank platform, Thomson Reuters Matching, is a key trading venue for commonwealth currencies, and average daily spot volume across venues averaged $100 billion in 2016. Thomson Reuters introduced a new high-speed data feed in 2016 to deliver faster price updates and is partnering with analytics provider BestX to deliver independent trade analysis to clients.

For queries and general information regarding our gala event, please contact: awards@fnlondon.com

 

 

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/best-foreign-exchange-trading-platform-2018-the-nominees-20180327

Best Foreign Exchange Trading Platform 2018: The Nominees

The winners of FN’s Trading and Technology Awards will be announced at the V&A Museum in London on May 15

Our awards are independent and fee-free. The Financial News editorial team compiles a shortlist of five nominees in each category following extensive research, taking soundings from industry contacts, and reviewing data and industry information.

The winners will be announced at the 16th annual awards gala dinner to be held at the V&A Museum in London on Tuesday, May 15.

Here are the nominees for: BEST FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRADING PLATFORM

Cboe FX
In spite of multiple changes of ownership over the past three years – from KCG to Bats Global Markets to Cboe – the platform formerly known as Hotspot has gone from strength to strength, with an average daily volume of $29.5bn in 2017, up nearly 10% year-on-year. In the fourth quarter, its market share averaged 14.9%, up from 12% in 2016. Given the fragmentation of liquidity, that is a sizeable chunk of the global FX market. In May 2017, Hotspot launched outright deliverable forwards on the platform while non-deliverable forwards were launched on Cboe SEF, the exchange’s registered swap execution facility, in December. The Hotspot business has now been rebranded as Cboe FX and is led by Bryan Harkins, Cboe’s head of US equities and global FX, while Jon Weinberg was hired from UBS last year as head of FX liquidity analysis.

Currenex
Ten years after buying Currenex in a landmark deal for the sector, State Street has continued to invest in the platform and it remains a leading liquidity pool in the FX market. In readiness for the EU’s revised trading rulebook under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, State Street last year launched the Currenex Multilateral Trading Facility to enable clients to use a disclosed request-for-quote model for FX spot, swaps, forwards and non-deliverable forwards. The platform’s trading volume are not disclosed, but Currenex remains a significant pool of FX liquidity. It is supported by a range of market data services, including streaming tick data on 40 currency pairs as well as well as a 100-millisecond snapshot of aggregated top of book price data. Last year, State Street hired James Reilly from Cantor Fitzgerald as global head of Currenex.

FastMatch
Amidst a spate of FX platform launches in recent years, FastMatch has emerged as one of the most successful, achieving an average daily volume of $18.4bn in 2017, up from $12.7bn in 2016. Average daily volumes spiked to a record of $22.5bn in May 2017, putting FastMatch firmly into competition with more entrenched players. In August 2017, exchange operator Euronext acquired the platform as a means of expanding into the FX market, which has in turn allowed FastMatch to push into the real money space in Europe. Additional highlights of 2017 included the opening of a sales office in Connecticut to complement its offices in New York, London and Moscow, and the launch of FX Tape, a market data service intended to act as a central reference point for transacted prices in spot FX.

NEX Markets
NEX Markets, previously EBS BrokerTec before Icap sold its voice broking unit and rebranded as NEX Group, recorded average daily FX volumes of $82.6bn last year. This may be a far cry from its heyday in 2008 when EBS hit an average of $214bn, but the FX market has changed since then and liquidity is now far more fragmented. With 2,800 customers in 50 countries, EBS remains the benchmark in major currency pairs such as EUR/USD and USD/JPY. The EBS Live Ultra data feed was enhanced last year to deliver spot FX data at five-millisecond intervals in response to client demand, while NEX Quant Analytics, a newly launched service that allows clients to analyse their performance and conduct regular reviews has proven particularly popular. EBS revenue for the half year ending September 30 2017 was £75m, up 12% year-on-year, highlighting the success of its diversified product offering.

Thomson Reuters
This year got off to a flying start, with trading volume across the Thomson Reuters Matching and FXall platforms reaching record highs in January 2018, suggesting not only that FX volatility had picked up, but also that diligent preparations for Mifid II had paid off. Average daily volume for all products reached $432bn, including $107bn for spot only – a level not surpassed since June 2016. Enhancements were completed in July 2017 to allow European clients to continue using the platforms for FX products under Mifid II and further changes were made to the company’s multilateral trading facility in December to support FX derivatives. In January, Thomson Reuters hired Jill Sigelbaum from NEX Traiana to head FXall, the ever popular institutional platform that it acquired in 2012.

Methodology
Financial News’s awards are independent and fee-free. Nominees in each category are voted on by a distinguished, independent panel of industry practitioners who cast their vote electronically. Each judge awards a score out of five to each nominee. The results are then vetted by FN editors for conflicts of interest. The highest adjusted average score out of five is the winner.

For all editorial inquiries please contact, Financial News projects editor Juliette Pearse at juliette.pearse@dowjones.com.

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or would like to book a table at the awards dinner on May 15th please contact: awards@fnlondon.com.

 

BATS increases its institutional platform portfolio, first Hotspot FX, now ETF.com

BATS increases its institutional platform portfolio

Just who is forging ahead in the very competitive institutional ECN sector? It is a very close battle of the…

BATS increases its institutional platform portfolio

Just who is forging ahead in the very competitive institutional ECN sector? It is a very close battle of the titans….

Yesterday, exchange operator BATS Global Markets announced it was buying ETF.com, without disclosing the financial terms of the transaction, in a deal which is expected to close in April 1st.

The ETF.com website which generated 875,572 page views and attracted 291,191 unique visitors in February 2016 will become an independent media subsidiary of BATS Global Markets.

David Lichtblau, CEO of ETF.com, will remain in that role and report directly to Bats Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Markets Bryan Harkins.”, said the press release, underscoring “our commitment to the ETF industry and our focus on providing unique, value-added content for issuers, brokers, financial advisors, market professionals and investors.”

Bats has been expanding its ETF business, doubling the number of ETFs listed on the US market to 56 as the Kansas-based firm offered to pay ETF providers as much as $400,000 to list on its exchange, since 2015.

On Monday, the company announced it would provide Money.com with Bats One Feed, a market data product that handled 26.2% of all ETF trading in February 2016.

In 2015, BATS Global Markets, Inc. Class A Common Stock (BATS:BATS) decided to expand into the foreign exchange market by buying currency-trading venue Hotspot FX from KCG Holdings Inc. in a $365 million deal in cash and additional payments under a tax sharing arrangement of $63 million, apparently valuing the company 14 times the EBITDA in 2014. HospotFX has a network of more than 30 prime brokers and an average daily volume over $30,000 billion in 2016.

Multi-asset institutional platforms have been dominated by EBS (ICAP) and Thomson Reuters who compete at almost level pegging volume wise for 3 years.

Thomson Reuters bought FXall for $625 million in 2012, having published its average daily spot volume at $111 billion in a total volume of $356 million in February. At the time, FXall CEO Phil Weisberg became Global Head of eFX for Thomson Reuters, a position he continues to hold today.

Electronic Broking Services (EBS) which is the institutional ECN division of British interdealer broker ICAP Plc (LON:IAP) and is one of the largest dealing platforms, continues to hold its level pegging with FXall on a monthly basis, with average daily volumes in February 2016 coming in at $102 billion, and daily average of $107 billion in 2015, down from $274 million in 2008.

ICAP’s decision to bring EBS under the same roof in late 2014, combining its EBS foreign exchange and BrokerTec fixed income electronic trading platforms into one business unit, might have been the force behind Bats buying Hotspot FX, in a business environment where mergers and acquisitions are in fashion. Consolidation is the new big thing among institutional giants, now the other “big four”: Thomson Reuters, ICAP, BATS and KCG.

No.2 US exchange operator by volume, BATS expanded beyond equities and into foreign exchange and ETFs, aggressively trying to win market share. After a failed attempt to file an IPO in 2012, due to a glitch in the company’s trading systems, BATS is planning to file one in 2016, valuing the firm at $2 billion despite equity’s valuation at $1.5 billion.

This acquisition, when looking at the closely-contended institutional ECN sector, is a case of BATS Global Markets sharpening its bow as the battle for supremacy in this particular sector continues not only to be a four horse race, but a very marginal one at that.

Photograph: Time Square, New York. Copyright FinanceFeeds

#BATS, #etf.com, #hotspotfx, #institutional, #platform

 

Clearing of FX

  • CME Group
  • LCH
  • Eurex Group

 

 

https://www.euromoney.com/article/b12kp3zljw20cj/otc-fx-trading-becomes-exchange-like

OTC FX trading becomes ‘exchange-like’

Exchanges and the over-the-counter (OTC) market might have moved a little closer in recent years, but it is far from inevitable that demand for greater trading clarity will push a sizeable chunk of the market away from OTC.

The acquisition of trading platforms Hotspot and 360T by Bats Global Markets and Deutsche Börse respectively last year were bold statements of intent by exchange operators to grab a larger chunk of the trillions of dollars traded in FX every day.

However, while consolidation in the venues supporting FX trading can be expected to result in exchanges becoming more involved in the FX space, any actual market structure change is likely to take a long time to materialize, according to FXSpotStream CEO Alan Schwarz.

“The FX market continues to do a good job of addressing regulatory requirements and meeting the demands of market participants,” he says.

“We have seen a shift in the FX market looking to trade more on a disclosed basis. Our business has continued to see year-on-year growth because there is a move taking place from exchange-like anonymous trading to bilateral, fully disclosed trading between counterparties.

“Unlike trading on an exchange, the relationship via FXSpotStream is transparent and trading with the liquidity providing banks is on a fully disclosed basis.”

Nuances

Kevin McPartland, head of market structure and technology research at Greenwich Associates, believes that discussion of migration from OTC to exchange fails to take account of some of the nuances of the FX market and that the future lies in venues that support multiple trading models.

“There are a host of non-exchange electronic trading venues that allow clients to trade with each other in a variety of ways,” he says.

Kevin_McPartland-160x186
 

On the question of whether there is a discernible shift towards fully disclosed trading, McPartland refers to both central limit order book (CLOB) and request-for-quote (RFQ) having their merits.

Despite observations made by the likes of TeraExchange – that order book platforms offer a democratic marketplace through transparent, firm and executable prices – corporates have remained reluctant to abandon the RFQ model.

The key question for CLOB platform providers continues to be not why market participants have migrated to alternative models but rather when they will be in a position to win new business for products that are most suited for order books, such as the benchmarks and plain vanilla products.

“RGQ offers liquidity on demand and identification of counterparties, whereas CLOB is faster and its anonymity can be helpful,” says McPartland.

“But we are now seeing demand for a solution that provides the best of both worlds by enabling trading in an order book format while maintaining a bilateral relationship with counterparties.”

Regulation

According to James Sinclair, CEO of MarketFactory, options and other derivativesare moving closer to an exchange model due to the direct effects of regulation and the increased costs of compliance in OTC markets.

He refers to CME FX options as an example, noting they are effectively options on futures.

“However, the situation in the spot market is more complicated – some aspects are becoming closer to an exchange, others are moving further away,” he says. “FX has its own market structure that is hard to fit into the OTC/exchange paradigm.”

James Sinclair 2-160x186
 

One of the fundamental reasons why the market does not become centrally cleared, says Sinclair, is that a cleared model carries the cost of insurance against both settlement and market risk.

“CLS insures you against settlement risk but not the market risk,” he adds. “Counterparts still find it cheaper to self-insure against market risk in case of a counterparty default than to pay the extra cost of a fully cleared solution.”

A senior platform source observes that growth in exchange-traded products has largely come from futures traders who have looked for diversification and added FX as another asset class.

“Very little business has moved from OTC – some banks have added exchanges as additional liquidity sources to cover risk, but that is really the only business that has crossed the divide,” the source says.

OTC has become more exchange-like in that the largest banks have continued to extend their internalization of flow, so each now runs an order book trading structure internally.

However, our source also points out that the tightening of credit has reduced the number of prime brokers in FX and costs have risen “so the nearest thing that the FX OTC market has to centralized clearing has actually reduced its volume and capacity”, he concludes.

 

 

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/markets-forex-regulation/pressure-builds-to-move-more-fx-trading-onto-exchanges-idUSL5N0VJ1VU20150216

Pressure builds to move more FX trading onto exchanges

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – International regulators struggling to rein in the $5 trillion-a-day global foreign exchange market are finally finding some support from asset managers warming to the idea of moving more trading onto exchanges.

The juggernaut forex market operates 24 hours a day across all time zones, but unlike with shares or commodities, trading is not centralised, potentially leaving space for malpractices.

This has gone largely unremarked for years. But a global investigation into market-rigging, allied to post-2008 regulation which has raised trading costs, has prompted more fund managers to ask if they are getting a fair deal from banks.

Advocates say putting forex trading on to exchanges would increase transparency, limit the scope for manipulation and benefit consumers. That would all come at a cost that now looks less of an issue than it did even two years ago.

“We are talking to people who are planning to shift 10-20 percent of their portfolios to some form of exchange-based or cleared trading if only to see how it goes,” said Peter Jerrom, who has launched a new broking operation matching orders for certain types of derivatives at London-based Sigma Broking.

“There is a shift that is a reflection of how much people have become tired of a variety of issues with the banks.”

BATS Global Markets’ purchase of FX trading platform Hotspot last month and moves by NASDAQ and Eurex into the sector, as well as the growing role of commodities and futures exchange CME Group in FX dealing suggest the move is gathering momentum.

Straightforward spot trading, worth roughly $2 trillion a day, will almost certainly continue to be done ‘over the counter’, with participants dealing directly with one another by phone or electronically.

But the growing costs of trading derivatives and options means anything from 20 to 60 percent of the market will be up for grabs in the next few years.

“All of the big exchanges are looking at this space now,” said David Mercer, chief executive officer of LMAX, a “multilateral trading facility” (MTF), to all intents and purposes the world’s only regulated currency trading exchange.

The head of business development with another major exchange added: “It is clear to us that our clients want trading on exchanges. But they do not want all trading on exchanges.”

DON’T BANK ON IT

Alfred Schorno, managing director of FX trading platform 360 Trading Networks said the critical issue was increasing transparency rather than necessarily moving to exchanges.

Calls for clearer structures reached a crescendo last November, when a year-long global investigation into allegations of collusion and rigging culminated in multi-billion dollar fines for six of the world’s biggest banks.

The threat of further fines for the banks from the European Union remains, while the U.S. Department of Justice and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office are still pursuing criminal investigations.

One issue is that forex dealing is concentrated in relatively few hands, with just five banks accounting for more than half of all the trade. Understandably, they are reluctant to loosen that grip.

“The big platforms have a difficult choice to make. Faced with more regulation, if they favoured a move to exchanges, they might well be the biggest players – or at least from a manager’s point of view might be bought well by one of them,” a senior industry source said.

WTO warns of global trade slowdown as indicator hits 9-year low

“But the banks would go mad if they said that publicly so they have to keep quiet,” he said.

Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government has pushed the bigger issues of the structure of the FX market back until after May’s general election.

But with some 40 percent of global currency trading flowing through London every day, the Bank of England’s Fair and Effective Market Review recommendations, not expected out until June, will be an important sign of things to come.

The industry contact panel for the review is, notably, chaired by the head of one of the world’s biggest asset managers, Allianz IG’s Elizabeth Corley. She declined to comment for this article.

ROUBLE RUCTIONS, FRANC FALLOUT

One driver for the move to more regulation is the market’s sheer size. It is by far the world’s largest single financial market, backed by central bank balance sheets that have swollen by some $10 trillion since the 2007-08 crisis and global foreign exchange reserves that now stand at $12 trillion.

Switzerland’s shock removal of its cap on the Swiss franc on Jan. 15 helped drive a record 2.26 million transactions, worth $9.2 trillion that day. On Dec. 17, as Russia’s rouble crumbled along with oil prices, volumes hit a record $10.67 trillion.

While various financial centres have developed voluntary codes of conduct for FX trading, they are not legally binding. In FX, unlike on the stock market, short-selling or betting on a fall in the price of an asset is virtually unrestricted.

Spot trading is hardly regulated at all. Traders dealing tens of billions of dollars a day are not required to be on the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s register of approved persons.

But that leaves some $3 trillion of FX options, swaps and derivatives trading, which regulators have moved to push towards formal clearing. (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

 

From https://www.dummies.com/education/finance/international-finance/an-overview-of-foreign-exchange-derivatives/

An Overview of Foreign Exchange Derivatives

By Ayse Evrensel

In international finance, derivative instruments imply contracts based on which you can purchase or sell currency at a future date. The three major types of foreign exchange (FX) derivatives: forward contracts, futures contracts, and options. They have important differences, which changes their attractiveness to a specific FX market participant.

FX derivatives are contracts to buy or sell foreign currencies at a future date. The table summarizes the relevant characteristics of three types of FX derivatives: forward contracts, futures contracts, and options. Because the types of FX derivatives closely correspond to the identity of the FX market participant, the table is based on the derivative type-market participant relationship.

An Overview of the Relevant FX Derivatives
Forward Contracts Future Contracts Options
Standardized regarding the amount of currency No Yes Yes
Obligation to engage in the transaction on the specified
day
Yes Yes No, but premium must be paid
Traded No CME Group GLOBEX
OTC
CME Group
GLOBEX
ISE
OTC
Useful for MNCs Yes Yes Yes
Useful for speculators No Yes Yes

CME Group: the leading derivative exchange formed by the (2007) merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOT); GLOBEX: an international, automated trading platform for futures and options at CME; ISE: International Security Exchange, a subsidiary of EUREX, a European derivative exchange; OTC: over-the-counter.

https://www.cls-group.com/products/settlement/clsclearedfx/

CLSClearedFX is the first payment-versus-payment settlement service specifically designed for over the counter (OTC) cleared FX derivatives. The service enables central counterparties (CCPs) and their clearing members to safely and effectively mitigate settlement risk when settling cleared FX products.

The service delivers capital, margin, leverage, liquidity and operational benefits for industry participants, and is consistent with goals set by the G20 in response to the global financial crisis to mitigate systemic risk through the clearing of standardized OTC derivatives.

https://www.clarusft.com/fx-clearing-the-750bn-market-that-keeps-growing/

FX Clearing – the $750bn market that keeps growing

  • LCH ForexClear continues to dominate the cleared NDF market.
  • CME have recently announced that 7 market participants intend to clear NDFs across their service next year.
  • We look at the CME’s existing volumes in FX futures.

FX NDF Clearing Update

When we last looked at NDF Clearing in June 2017, we saw that LCH were dominating volumes. Open Interest had risen to $600bn+ and monthly volumes were up over $400bn, with March 2017 pushing $500bn. Has anything changed since? Amir provided an update for September, and bringing this up-to-date via CCPView shows:

NDF Notional Outstanding

Showing;

  • LCH ForexClear continues to dominate NDF clearing. 92% of notional outstanding is at LCH.
  • Total Notional Outstanding of cleared NDFs has now surpassed $750bn – both in total and at ForexClear alone.
  • Growth since the beginning of 2017 has been impressive, with Open Interest basically doubling (it is 1.88 times higher now than end of December 2016).

And in terms of monthly volumes, October 2017 was near to the records set in September. The weekly time-series of volumes shows a steady upwards trend:

Weekly Cleared NDF Volumes
  • The biggest week was the end of September, when $184bn cleared in total.
  • There have now been four weeks when total clearing volumes have topped $150bn.
  • Our disclosures data shows that the number of participants at LCH ForexClear have increased over the past year. We started at 25 in Dec 2016 (23 of whom were banks), and we were up to 27 as at end June 2017 (our latest data point).

As a reminder, this move to NDF Clearing appears to be a post-trade process. We still see less than 4% of volumes reported to SDRs flagged as “Cleared”. Actual market take-up is much larger than this (about 20% of the total market is cleared and 35% of D2D markets according to our last estimates) – but the trades are novated to clearing after trading, and hence do not appear to be cleared in public trade reports.

FX Futures

Elsewhere in FX markets, CME recently announced a new “FX Link” product:

CME FX Link

This obviously piqued our interest at Clarus – we like innovation, we are keen followers of the FX market and we are continually looking at ways that volumes may move across OTC and Futures products. This new product ticks a lot of those boxes!

Add in the fact that EMIR brings VM to FX Forwards next year, and this product is one we will watch closely. If counterparties can bring in multilateral netting benefits of clearing to any of their OTC business, it may lessen the funding impacts from having to post VM on FX.

In terms of the product itself, I understand this to be the concurrent buy and sell of OTC Spot versus an FX Future at CME. As well as managing VM in a UMR world, this product offers the same exposures to risk factors as an OTC FX Forward – interest rate differentials between two currencies, very short dated cross currency basis exposure – but could allow users to manage OTC credit and settlement exposures by using a future for the long-leg.

For CME, I imagine transferring as much liquidity as possible from the OTC space to the futures space is important. Therefore, using Quandl, I had a look at FX futures volumes recently:

Daily FX Futures volumes in EURUSD. Data from quandl.com

Showing;

  • Number of contracts traded in the front EURUSD FX Futures contract every day since June.
  • Volumes have been very stable.
  • The rolling ten-day average (the orange line) shows anything between 150-250,000 contracts trade each day. Multiply by EUR125,000 notional value tells us we have a notional equivalent volume of around €25bn.
  • Bloomberg frequently call the FX market a “$5 trillion” market:

  • That number comes from the BIS Triennial Survey, which we’ve analysed in plenty of detail in the past.
  • In that BIS survey, we see an average daily volume for EURUSD spot of ~$500bn. If we treat the CME future as a spot-like product (because it trades on an outright basis and I imagine is largely used for price risk transfer) then about 5% of spot-market equivalent volume occurs in futures markets.

It will be an interesting one to watch. Our chart suggests volumes in FX Futures have been fairly static recently. Will this new product shake things up?

NDF Clearing at CME

That was going to be that before I saw another release from CME this week:

I’ve not got too much to add to the press release apart from;

  • Cross-margining versus Non Deliverable IRS will be offered. This is interesting as I do not think that LCH cross-margin ForexClear versus SwapClear (let me know if you think different in the comments). On the LCH 2017 roadmap, non deliverable swaps should soon be available at SwapClear (Q4 2017).
  • It is not clear if these members are new members or are existing clearing members at CME. Our Disclosures data (identified as “CME IRS” ) shows that CME had 23 clearing participants at end June 2017.

We will be keeping a keen eye in Q1 2018 for these volumes coming through into the CME service. Make sure to subscribe to stay on top of these market trends.

In Summary

  • Open Interest in Cleared NDFs has surpassed the $750bn mark.
  • LCH dominate NDF clearing at the moment, with up to $150bn in notional volumes trading each week.
  • CME will be bringing more competition to NDF clearing in 2018 with seven participants intending to clear.
  • CME already have a successful FX franchise, with EURUSD FX Futures accounting for around 5% of spot market volumes.
  • CME are introducing an FX Link product in 2018 which will combine OTC spot and Futures contracts into a single executable spread.
  • Clarus data helps market participants stay on top of these trends by showing where volumes are traded.

Stay informed with our FREE newsletter, subscribe here.

https://www.thetradenews.com/eurex-to-launch-otc-fx-clearing-service/

Eurex to launch OTC FX clearing service

Eurex will look to open up competition for clearing OTC FX derivatives in Europe.

 

Eurex will begin clearing OTC FX derivatives following the launch of new systems changes to clearing swaps, as it looks to compete in new asset classes with LCH.

Eurex Clearing is cooperating with 360T to introduce clearing on OTC FX swaps, spots and forwards in EUR/USD and GDP/USD, with CLS acting as the settlement agent.

According to a circular from the Frankfurt-based exchange group, it plans to launch the service after it goes live with a series of changes to EurexOTC Clear on 15 May. It currently provides clearing for FX futures and listed options.

The move will open up competition in the FX swaps market, with London-based LCH currently operating the only clearing service for OTC FX derivatives in Europe. So far this year LCH has cleared over 128,000 contracts with a notional volume of $2.9 trillion.

According to data from ClarusFT, over a third of dealer-to-dealer volumes were cleared in the non-deliverable forwards market at the end of last year.

Previous reports have suggested LCH is looking to launch an OTC FX options clearing service. Meanwhile CME Group has said it will expand its cleared FX suite this year by offering FX options on seven main currency pairings.

Tagged: , ,

https://www.bestexecution.net/360t-future-fx-david-holcombe/

360T : The Future of FX : David Holcombe

THE FUTURE OF FX: EXCHANGE TRADED AND OTC LIQUIDITY?

Best Execution talks to David Holcombe, Product Lead for FX Futures and Clearing, 360T

Is the FX market really heading towards being an exchange traded and centrally cleared market?

This isn’t an all or nothing point in either direction. One size does not fit all in the FX market. The Deutsche Boerse Group FX strategy is actually a good view of the end state of the FX landscape – where informed clients will establish whether to clear any given trade, then use the right tools to achieve that.

When will that be? Cleared and exchange traded FX is still a small fragment of the overall FX market, so surely that “end state” view is still many years away?

My role is to ensure 360T exploits tight integration between 360T, the Eurex Exchange, Eurex Clearing and other group entities to create a truly front-to back FX offering for our clients that covers Exchange and OTC FX liquidity. We haven’t made a public song and dance about this, but this integration really is very well advanced, and you will see FX futures traded via 360T in the first quarter of 2018.

Beyond tools to let our clients choose the right FX product for the trade they need to do, using the right execution model, and the right credit and clearing model to exploit all the benefits available, the challenge the industry faces right now is to understand what clearing means, and what it can do for them.

OK, so if clearing is the start point for all of this, how do I know whether to clear something?

It’s actually a complex consideration. We’ve had a specialist consultancy in to prepare analysis to quantify the benefits of central clearing for FX, as in the absence of clearing mandates, the decision process to clear needs to consider multiple attributes for any given scenario. With so many moving parts as variables in the model, we are now going through these results with clients individually, offering to put their sample portfolios through our modelling tool to see where they will gain.

Ultimately though, one has to understand what the real drivers for each trade are, and also to consider the full impact that the trade will have on the portfolio in each form it could take, in order to then make an informed decision of how and where to get the best trade done with the best outcome.

So, once you need to clear, how do you choose between OTC executed flow or exchange products?

While the use of exchange listed products amplifies the benefits of clearing, the answer is still pretty much down to product access and liquidity.

It’s understandable that OTC execution is a place many start when considering clearing, because exchange-traded FX has never really been centre stage in the FX market. The majority of our clients being real FX participants state that a market built on the foundations of “how much and who’s asking”, with a myriad of ways in which LPs and clients can meet to bilaterally negotiate and trade OTC FX, have meant the US-focused exchange offerings, with limited value dates and product flexibility, have always been too far away from being a good fit for their needs.

Also, it is fair to say that trading on an exchange platform doesn’t suit everyone, and clients with strong relationships that have historically served them very well, particularly in bilateral disclosed models, are understandably inclined to favour those routes to interact with the market. This is the execution model you will see in our 360T Block and EFP network: access to FX futures, while trading using familiar OTC models and tools.

When OTC products are the right route though, the availability of a clearing service for the product you need is the first obvious consideration. While interdealer NDF clearing is pretty much routine now, no CCP has yet been able to satisfy the regulators that they are effectively managing the settlement risk they concentrate between members for deliverable OTC FX products, in order to address the bulk of the market’s ADV – deliverable Spot, Forward and FX Swaps. Deliverable OTC FX clearing will become a reality in 2018 though, as we are one of two major CCPs currently finalising a deliverable FX clearing service, with the Deutsche Boerse Group’s Eurex Clearing service being the only one focused on letting you clear FX Spot, Forward, FX Swap, alongside cross currency swaps.

Once you have determined the position is going to be cleared, then your focus should be whether listed or OTC products give you the best route to get that position into the clearing house, considering all liquidity available: in the exchange orderbook and off-book – exactly the model 360T has with support for OTC alongside exchange listed FX products.

Well that’s clear – the customer gets the choice of using an OTC or exchange FX product, and accessing those exchange products on or off the exchange orderbook, but surely the problem with listed FX remains – the products are not a particularly good fit for OTC users?

The uptake of FX futures will be helped by next generation products that evolve FX futures from the US contracts with a small number of infrequent value dates, to something closer resembling the flexibility of OTC products.

We do have classic shaped FX futures contracts, albeit with OTC characteristics like having the currency pair quoted the right way around for OTC users, but a perfect example of next generation FX is the Eurex Rolling Spot Future. This is the simplest way to get FX spot exposure into the CCP, using an exchange listed product designed with a focus on removing incumbent costs in OTC rolls, with multiple liquidity providers considering the exchange orderbook and also how they can use the 360T block and EFP functionality to increase their distribution.

With all of these points aligning, the future of FX is here. Giving the customer true choice of product, execution type, and credit/clearing model so they can exploit the benefits that clearing can bring is certainly a challenge, but all of the foundations are already there for this client choice to become a reality in 2018 within 360T and the Deutsche Boerse Group.

http://www.360t.com

https://marketvoice.fia.org/issues/2017-12/cme-vs-lch-take-twoCME vs. LCH: Take Two

CME reinvigorates NDF clearing service in battle with LCH’s ForexClear

By

Nicola Tavendale

CME Group is making another run at the OTC FX market. The Chicago-based market operator recently unveiled an agreement with seven leading liquidity providers to begin using its clearing service for non-deliverable forwards and redoubled its efforts to promote the capital efficiencies that clearing can provide for FX traders. But with LCH currently dominating NDF clearing, is there really enough demand for the CME solution?

Over the last two years, NDF clearing has exploded as margin requirements for uncleared derivatives have come into effect around the world. Banks seeking to avoid those margin requirements have mainly turned to LCH’s ForexClear service, which provides clearing for NDFs in 12 emerging market currencies as well as several G-10 currencies. The service has 30 clearing members and has signed up an additional 3,000 client accounts this year alone. In the third quarter, the London-based clearinghouse processed NDFs worth $1.5 trillion in notional value, up more than 400% from the third quarter of 2016.

NDF Clearing Surges
Monthly Notional Value Cleared at LCH (Billions USD)

NoteMonthly clearing volumes include a small amount of NDFs in major currencies such as EUR, GBP, JPY and CHF. These NDFs make up less than 0.1% of total NDF clearing volume.
Source: LCH 

Virtually all interdealer activity resides on the LCH platform, explained John O’Hara, Americas head of prime brokerage and clearing at Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking. But he said there is demand for a CME solution as well. One reason is the potential synergy with CME’s well-established foreign exchange futures market, which boasts more than $91 billion in average daily volume and more than $260 billion in open interest. “People gravitate toward what is most familiar to them, and for those actively clearing futures on CME, OTC FX clearing is a natural progression,” O’Hara explained.

CME has offered NDF clearing for several years but with minimal success. As of early December, across the 12 emerging market NDFs that CME clears, the only one with any activity was the Colombian peso NDF. The open interest in all of the others was exactly zero.

CME sees an opportunity for a second chance, however. So far most of the NDF clearing has been for interbank trades, but fund managers and other buyside institutions are poised to take up clearing as margin requirements for uncleared derivatives come into effect. CME is hoping that it can capture a share of this business by offering a clearing solution that combines OTC FX products with listed futures and options. Portfolio margining of OTC FX NDFs and listed FX futures is not available yet, but CME is working on getting regulatory approval and is hoping to bring that live in 2018.

Getting Market Makers on Board

The deeper challenge is pricing. Market sources said because ForexClear has been so widely adopted, liquidity in NDFs that are cleared at LCH are quoted with a tighter bid-ask spread than NDFs cleared at CME. CME is hoping to address that issue with its November announcement that seven leading NDF liquidity providers intend to start clearing with the service by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The seven liquidity providers are BBVA, Citi, Itau Unibanco, NatWest Markets, Santander, Standard Chartered and XTX Markets.

It is no accident that three of the liquidity providers—BBVA, Itau Unibanco, and Santander—are specialists in Latin American markets. Many of the most heavily traded NDFs are based on Latin currencies such as the Brazilian real and the Colombian peso. The other big center for NDFs is in Asia. That is one of the strengths of Standard Chartered, one of the top liquidity providers in Asian forex markets.

XTX is the only one of the seven that is not a bank, but the London-based electronic trading firm has emerged over the last three years as a major liquidity providers in the FX market. In last year’s Euromoney survey, which calculates market share across the top forex market-makers, XTX took third place in electronic spot trading in last year’s Euromoney survey of market share across the top FX market makers, and first place in this year’s FX Week awards for best liquidity provider.

All Under One Roof

CME also argues that its solution has a structural advantage. At LCH, the ForexClear service has its own default fund that is separate from its clearing services for other asset classes such as interest rate swaps. At CME, NDFs are under the same umbrella as a range of related products, including listed FX futures and options as well as interest rate swaps. That opens the door for margin offsets that LCH cannot offer. For example, CME estimates that the margin offsets between NDFs and non-deliverable interest rate swaps denominated in currencies such as the Brazilian real and the Korean won could go as high as 51%. The single default fund structure also offers capital savings for clearing firms. Rather than having to commit their capital to multiple default funds, the clearing firms only need to make one commitment that covers all the asset classes that they clear.

“Our NDF clearing solution leverages the same guaranty fund as the entire CME Group-listed futures and options complex, enabling material capital savings for our NDF clearing members and lower fees for customers clearing via an FCM,” Sean Tully, CME’s senior managing director of financials and OTC products, said in November when the agreement with the seven liquidity providers was announced.

Buyside Interest on the Rise

One of the key drivers behind the rise in demand for NDF clearing is the implementation of uncleared margin rules, which are still in the early stages of being phased in. Paddy Boyle, global head of ForexClear, explained that bilateral initial margin was initially required from all participants with at least $3 trillion of notional outstanding. That limit has now fallen to $2.25 trillion and will continue to fall to lower and lower thresholds. By September 2020, nearly all market participants will be subject to the rules.

“When we reach the final threshold in 2020, NDFs that are bilaterally traded and uncleared will become significantly more expensive and will provide all types of institutions with obvious greater incentive to clear,” Boyle said. Although most buyside firms are not yet subject to the margin requirements, Boyle said there is a “small but active group” of buyside firms voluntarily clearing NDFs at LCH now. “We expect buy-side clearing to grow substantially over the next few years, particularly as most buy-side firms will be caught as the thresholds continue to fall in 2019 and 2020,” he added.

“We expect buy-side clearing to grow substantially over the next few years, particularly as most buy-side firms will be caught as the thresholds continue to fall in 2019 and 2020.”

– Paddy Boyle, LCH

Basu Choudhury, head of business intelligence at NEX Traiana, also predicted that the buy side will soon have to start clearing more. Choudhury, who worked at ForexClear before joining Traiana in August 2016, explained that the first two waves of margin rules created an upturn in demand from tier one and tier two banks for NDF clearing. “Come January 2018, buy-side firms globally will also start to be impacted, so what CME are looking to do on the NDF side makes sense,” he said.

There is an added attraction for mutual funds in the U.S., according to SocGen’s O’Hara. “Since these fund structures have leverage and cash retention requirements measured on a gross notional basis when trading deliverable forwards, they have been seeking ways to ensure that there is no chance of delivery so their exposure can be assessed purely on a mark-to-market basis,” he explained. Since the CCPs have a mechanism wherein they can disallow delivery, they should be able to provide this relief, he said.

Convergence Play

Bringing liquidity providers on board is only one part of a renewed focus on the OTC FX market at CME. The company also is preparing to roll out a new service in the first quarter that will give OTC market participants better access to the liquidity in CME’s FX futures. Starting on Feb. 18, CME’s Globex electronic trading platform will support a central limit order book for trades that track the basis between spot FX and FX futures. This service, called FX Link, will enable the trading of an OTC spot FX contract and an FX futures contract via a single spread trade.

CME is partnering with Citi, one of the largest liquidity providers in the FX market, to act as central prime broker for the spot FX transactions resulting from the spread. The benefit of this arrangement, according to CME, is that it will allow participants to tap into their existing OTC FX interbank credit relationships and the established OTC FX prime brokerage network.

“By strengthening the integration between futures and the OTC FX marketplace, CME FX Link will enhance access to our deeply liquid FX futures market,” Paul Houston, CME’s global head of FX products, said in September when the initiative was announced. “OTC FX market participants will benefit from the capital and regulatory advantages of listed futures as well as optimizing credit lines through facing a central counterparty.”

“There will continue to be a convergence of sorts as OTC becomes more futures-like and futures assume some characteristics of OTC.”

– John O’Hara, Société Générale

In addition, both CME and ForexClear are preparing to launch OTC FX options clearing. CME said it is working with major FX options dealers to deliver a cash-settled clearing solution later this year, with the expectation of volumes beginning in early 2018. In contrast, ForexClear’s solution will offer physical settlement of OTC FX options in partnership with CLS, the widely used settlement service. ForexClear is currently seeking regulatory approval and plans to start by offering clearing in eight major currency pairs.

SocGen’s O’Hara explained that the options market has historically been characterized by physical settlement and many firms’ operational infrastructures have been built with this in mind. CME’s view, however, is that physical-settlement had become the standard simply as a consequence of how the market evolved and that cash settled would be the norm if it were starting today.

Ultimately the FX market is big enough to support both clearinghouses, according to Choudhury. “In IRS clearing we saw the buyside use CME initially while big dealers used LCH and it will be interesting to see if the same occurs with FX clearing,” he said. “CME do offer risk offsets between FX futures and OTC FX. For the buyside this may be attractive due to arbitrage opportunities, but dealers may prefer the LCH model due to larger netting pool.”

O’Hara commented that all of these moves are part of a larger trend that is blurring the lines between different sectors of the FX marketplace. “There will continue to be a convergence of sorts as OTC becomes more futures-like and futures assume some characteristics of OTC,” he said.

Other Topics

  • CME NDFs
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • High Frequency Trading
  • Global Code for FX Transactions

 

 

 

 

Please see my related posts

Understanding Global OTC Foreign Exchange (FX) Market

Key Sources of Research

Foreign exchange liquidity in the Americas

https://www.bis.org/publ/bppdf/bispap90.pdf

High-frequency trading in the foreign exchange market

https://www.bis.org/publ/mktc05.htm

 

Monitoring of fast-paced electronic markets

https://www.bis.org/publ/mktc10.htm

Click to access mktc10.pdf

Liquidity Provision in the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market

Frederick Van Gysegem

2013

 

Click to access 4197291.pdf

 

 

 

The Retail FX Trader: Rising Above Random

Christopher J. Davison

Nottingham Trent University, UK

February 4th 2016

 

Click to access 5881_Davison.pdf

 

 

 

 

The Evolution of Foreign Exchange Markets in the Context of Global Crisis

Mariana Trandafir1, Georgeta Dragomir2

 

Click to access 045cXL4244.pdf

 

 

 

Liquidity in FX spot and forward markets∗

Ingomar Krohn† Vladyslav Sushko‡

First draft: November 2017

Click to access 28-krohn-liquidity-in-fx-spot-and-forward-markets.pdf

 

Click to access GRU%232017-019%20Krohn%20Sushko.pdf

 

 

 

Essays on the FX Market Microstructure

 

https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/8541119/file/8541128

FX Spot and Swap Market Liquidity and the Effects of Window Dressing

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3092248

 

 

 

 

Foreign Exchange Market: Institutional Structure, Regulation, and Policy Implications

Fei Su1,*, Jun Zhao

 

Click to access jfe-5-5-1.pdf

http://pubs.sciepub.com/jfe/5/5/1/index.html

 

 

 

Trading Too Expensively in the FX Market? Empirical Evidence on Liquidity from an Aggregator

 

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3208229&download=yes

 

 

 

Development and Functioning of FX Markets in Asia and the Pacific1

Richard M. Levich2
NYU Stern School of Business and NBER

Frank Packer3
Bank for International Settlements

Click to access L-Packer.pdf

 

 

 

Settlement Risk in the Global FX Market: How Much Remains?

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2827530&download=yes

The Retail Spot Foreign Exchange Market Structure and Participants

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2753823

 

 

 

FX MARKET METRICS: NEW FINDINGS BASED ON CLS BANK SETTLEMENT DATA

Joel Hasbrouck Richard M. Levich
March 2017

Click to access w23206.pdf

 

 

The flows of the Pacific: Asian foreign exchange markets through tranquility and turbulence

Dagfinn Rime and Hans Jørgen Tranvåg

 

https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2496837/wp_2012_1.pdf?sequence=1

 

 

 

FX counterparty risk and trading activity in currency forward and futures markets☆

Richard M. Levich

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1016/j.rfe.2012.06.004

 

 

 

Downsized FX markets: causes and implications

 

Click to access dfc8c7fd137a4927bd1a910ddb7650aeb4d3.pdf

 

 

 

The Asia Pacific FX Markets: Opportunities for Growth

KPMG

 

Click to access the-asia-pacific-fx-markets.pdf

 

 

 

Foreign exchange market structure, players and evolution

Michael R. King, Carol Osler and Dagfinn Rime

 

Click to access Rime-2.pdf

 

 

 

Foreign exchange trading and settlement: Past and present

Click to access cflfebruary2006-223-pdf.pdf

 

 

The foreign exchange and derivatives markets in Hong Kong

 

Click to access fa.pdf

 

 

Developments in Foreign Exchange and OTC Derivatives Markets

Megan Garner, Anna Nitschke and David Xu

 

Click to access rba-bulletin-2016-12-developments-in-foreign-exchange-and-otc-derivatives-markets.pdf

 

 

What’s behind the BIS Triennial Foreign Exchange Survey in 2016:Waning Risk Appetite and Expanding RMB Transactions

Kikuko Takeda
Senior Economist

 

Click to access NL2017No_2_e.pdf

A set of global principles of good practice in the foreign exchange market

 

Click to access fx_global.pdf

 

 

Cleared OTC FX

Click to access otc-fx-clearing.pdf

Click to access coupon-blending-for-ndfs.pdf

 

 

The spillover of money market turbulence to FX swap and cross-currency swap markets1

 

Click to access r_qt0803h.pdf

 

 

The Foreign Exchange Market and Central Counterparties

Mark Manning, Alex Heath and James Whitelaw*

 

Click to access bu-0310-8.pdf

 

 

 

Foreign Exchange Swaps and Forwards: Product Overview

 

Click to access FXC_Letter_113010.pdf

 

 

 

 

DAT consultation response – Incentives to centrally clear over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives

 

Click to access GFMA-Global-Foreign-Exchange-Division.pdf

360t.com

Low Interest Rates and Bank’s Profitability – Update May 2019

Low Interest Rates and Bank’s Profitability – Update May 2019

My last post on this important topic was in 2017.  Since then several new articles and research papers have been published. I have compiled them in this post.  Please see references.

In my posts I have shown how many trends in economics for the last thirty years can be explained by unintendend consequences of US Federal Researve monetary policy of lowering interest rates to boost economic growth.

  • Rise of Shadow Banking – MMMF
  • Rise of International capital flows in USA
  • Growth of Consumer credit – Credit Cards and Housing Loans
  • Decline in Net Interest Margins of the Banks
  • Risk taking by banks to maintain and increase their profits
  • Rise of Non interest income of Banks
  • Rise of Non core business of banks
  • Rise of Mergers/Acquisitions/Consolidation in Banking sector

Related to these are:

  • Business Investments by Production side of economy
  • Increase in Market concentration of Products
  • Increase in Mergers and Acquisitions/consolidation among Product market businesses
  • Decreasing monitory policy effectiveness
  • Wrong economic growth forecasts
  • Secular Stagnation Hypothesis
  • Rise of Outsourcing and global value chains
  • Free Trade agreements
  • Increase in Ineqality of wealth and Income
  • Increase in corporate profits and equities market
  • Increase in corporate savings
  • Increase in share buybacks, and dividends payouts

 

 

and this one,

Increasing Market Concentration in USA: Update April 2019

Key Sources of Research:

Monetary policy and bank profitability in a low interest rate environment

Click to access ecb-wp2105.en.pdf

The “Reversal Interest Rate”: An Effective Lower Bound on Monetary Policy∗

Markus K. Brunnermeier and Yann Koby

This version: May 3, 2017

Click to access 16f_reversalrate.pdf

Click to access 26d_rir_bankofcanada.pdf

Interest Rate and Its Effect on Bank’s Profitability

Muhammad Faizan Malik1,2, Shehzad Khan1,2, Muhammad Ibrahim Khan1, Faisal Khan

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318648785_Interest_Rate_and_Its_Effect_on_Bank’s_Profitability

Bank performance under negative interest rates

VOXEU

https://voxeu.org/article/bank-performance-under-negative-interest-rates

How low interest rates impact bank

BBVA

https://www.bbva.com/en/how-low-interest-rates-impact-bank-profitability/

Negative-nominal-interest-rates-and-banking

Money and Banking

https://www.moneyandbanking.com/commentary/2018/10/21/negative-nominal-interest-rates-and-banking

Monetary policy and bank equity values in a time of low interest rates

Miguel Ampudia, Skander Van den Heuvel

 

Click to access ecb.wp2199.en.pdf

 

Bank Profitability and Financial Stability

Prepared by TengTeng Xu, Kun Hu, and Udaibir S. Das1

IMF

January 2019

 

https://www.imf.org/~/media/Files/Publications/WP/2019/wp1905.ashx

 

Financial stability implications of a prolonged period of low interest rates

Report submitted by a Working Group established by the Committee on the Global Financial System

The Group was co-chaired by Ulrich Bindseil (European Central Bank) and Steven B Kamin (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

July 2018

 

Click to access cgfs61.pdf

 

Monetary policy and bank profitability in a low interest rate environment

Carlo Altavilla Miguel Boucinha José-Luis Peydró
Economic Policy, Volume 33, Issue 96, October 2018, Pages 531–586,
Published: 09 October 2018

 

https://academic.oup.com/economicpolicy/article/33/96/531/5124289

 

 

Determinants of bank profitability in emerging markets

by E. Kohlscheen, A. Murcia and J. Contreras

Monetary and Economic Department

January 2018

BIS

Click to access work686.pdf

 

 

 

The Risk-Taking Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area

 

Matthias Neuenkirch, Matthias Nöckel

4/2018

 

Click to access cesifo1_wp6982.pdf

 

 

 

 

ADAPTING LENDING POLICIES WHEN NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES HIT BANKS’ PROFITS

Óscar Arce, Miguel García-Posada, Sergio Mayordomo and Steven Ongena

2018

Click to access dt1832e.pdf

 

 

Banks, Money and the Zero Lower Bound

Michael Kumhof

Xuan Wang

Click to access 2018-16.pdf

 

 

 

Banking in a Steady State of Low Growth and Interest Rates

by Qianying Chen, Mitsuru Katagiri, and Jay Surti

IMF

https://www.imf.org/~/media/Files/Publications/WP/2018/wp18192.ashx

 

 

 

Changes in Monetary Policy and Banks’ Net Interest Margins: A Comparison across Four Tightening Episodes

Jared Berry, Felicia Ionescu, Robert Kurtzman, and Rebecca Zarutskie

Federal Reserve

2019

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/changes-in-monetary-policy-and-banks-net-interest-margins-a-comparison-20190419.htm

 

 

 

Monetary Policy and Bank Profitability, 1870 – 2015

47 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019

Kaspar Zimmermann

University of Bonn

Date Written: January 25, 2019

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3322331

 

 

The effect of falling interest rates and yield curve to banks’ interest margin and profitability: cross-country evidence from the EU banks in the aftermath of 2008 financial crisis

Giorgi Chagoshvili

MS Thesis

 

https://repository.ihu.edu.gr/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11544/29306/The%20effect%20of%20falling%20interest%20rates%20and%20yield%20curve%20to%20banks%20%20interest%20margin%20and%20profitability%20cross%20country%20evidence%20from%20the%20EU%20banks%20in%20the%20aftermath%20of%202008%20financial%20crisis.pdf?sequence=1

 

 

 

 

Bank Performance under Negative Interest Rates

 

by Jose A. Lopez, Andrew K. Rose, and Mark M. Spiegel

 

Click to access VOXNNIR.pdf

Determinants of bank’s interest margin in the aftermath of the crisis: the effect of interest rates and the yield curve slope

  • Paula Cruz-García
  • Juan Fernández de GuevaraEmail author
  • Joaquín Maudos

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00181-017-1360-0

 

 

 

 

Key Determinants of Net Interest Margin of Banks in the EU and the US

MS Thesis

Charles University

Bc. Petr Hanzlík

 

https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle/20.500.11956/99546/120297262.pdf?sequence=1

 

Increasing Market Concentration in USA: Update April 2019

Increasing Market Concentration in USA: Update April 2019

In this post, I have compiled recent articles and papers on the issues of:

  • Increased Market Power
  • Increased Market Concentration
  • Increased Corporate Profits
  • Increased Inequality
  • Anti Trust Laws and Competition policy
  • Interest rates and Business Investments
  • Interest rates and Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Stock Buybacks, Dividends, and Business Investments
  • Outsourcing, and Global Value Chains
  • Corporate Savings Glut
  • Slower Economic Growth
  • Reduced Dynamism

 

From Low Interest Rates, Market Power, and Productivity Growth

How does the production side of the economy respond to a low interest rate environment? This study provides a new theoretical result that low interest rates encourage market concentration by giving industry leaders a strategic advantage over followers, and this effect strengthens as the interest rate approaches zero. The model provides a unified explanation for why the fall in long-term interest rates has been associated with rising market concentration, reduced dynamism, a widening productivity-gap between industry leaders and followers, and slower productivity growth. Support for the model’s key mechanism is established by showing that a decline in the ten year Treasury yield generates positive excess returns for industry leaders, and the magnitude of the excess returns rises as the Treasury yield approaches zero.

Please see my related posts:

 

Competition, Concentration, and Anti-Trust Laws in the USA

Concentration, Investment, and Growth

Shareholder Capitalism: Rising Market Concentration, Slower Productivity Growth, Rising Inequality, Rising Profits, and Rising Equities Markets

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

Why are Macro-economic Growth Forecasts so wrong?

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Economic Growth Theories – Orthodox and Heterodox

The Decline in Long Term Real Interest Rates

Why do Firms buyback their Shares? Causes and Consequences.

On Inequality of Wealth and Income – Causes and Consequences

Intra Industry Trade and International Production and Distribution Networks

FDI vs Outsourcing: Extending Boundaries or Extending Network Chains of Firms

Understanding Trade in Intermediate Goods

Trends in Intra Firm Trade of USA

Cash and Investments: Corporate Savings Glut in USA

Key sources:

Markups, Consumption and Market Concentration

American Economic Association

https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2019/preliminary/814?q=eNqrVipOLS7OzM8LqSxIVbKqhnGVrJQMlWp1lBKLi_OTgRwlHaWS1KJcXAgrJbESKpSZmwphlWWmloO0FxUUgLQagFwwSH9BYjpIBZANXDDjnB7P

AMERICA’S CONCENTRATION CRISIS

AN OPEN MARKETS INSTITUTE REPORT

https://concentrationcrisis.openmarketsinstitute.org

How Low Interest Rates Have Led To Increased Market Concentration

Seeking Alpha

March, 2019

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4245601-low-interest-rates-led-increased-market-concentration

 

Market Concentration Is Threatening the US Economy

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/united-states-economy-rising-market-power-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-2019-03

Concentration increasing?

John Cochrane

2019

https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2019/03/concentration-increasing.html

Industry Concentration in Europe and North America

OECD

2019

Monopolies are the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ when it comes to analyzing US inequality, investment researchers argue

Barclays Launches New Research Study Analyzing how Market Concentration is Affecting the US Economy

March 26, 2019

DISRUPTION CONCENTRATION AND THE NEW ECONOMY

The Surprising Thing About Market Concentration

by esteban rossi-hansberg, pierre-daniel sarte and nicholas trachter

 

Increased market power: a global problem that needs solving?

January 2019

https://www.oxera.com/agenda/increased-market-power-a-global-problem-that-needs-solving/

Click to access Increased-market-power.pdf

 

 

 

70 Years of US Corporate Profits∗

Simcha Barkai

Seth G. Benzell

April 2018

 

Click to access 2270yearsofuscorporateprofits.pdf

 

 

Low Interest Rates, Market Power, and Productivity Growth

Ernest Liu, Atif Mian, Amir Sufi

January 2019

NBER

https://www.nber.org/papers/w25505

Click to access BFI-MFRI-2019-09.pdf

Chapter 2: The Rise of Corporate Market Power and Its Macroeconomic Effects

World Economic Outlook

April 2019

IMF

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2019/03/28/world-economic-outlook-april-2019

Outsourcing, Occupational and Industrial Concentration

Nicholas Bloom (Stanford), Audrey Guo (Stanford) and Brian Lucking (Stanford)
November 2018

 

 

 

Diverging Trends in National and Local Concentration∗

Esteban Rossi-Hansberg Pierre-Daniel Sarte

Nicholas Trachter

February 26, 2019

 

Click to access DTNLC.pdf

 

 

 

Macroeconomics and Market Power: Facts, Potential Explanations, and Open Questions

Chad Syverson

January 2019

Brookings

 

Click to access ES_20190116_Syverson-Macro-Micro-Market-Power.pdf

A Theory of Falling Growth and Rising Rents

Author(s): Philippe Aghion, Antonin Bergeaud, Timo Boppart, Peter J. Klenow, and Huiyu Li

March 2019

Fed Reserve San Francisco

https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/working-papers/2019/11/

Competition and market concentration in the United States

 

December 2018

https://www.tresor.economie.gouv.fr/Articles/bd779c20-ede1-4266-94ee-13eb70d0b882/files/c19bc114-e2ee-4f2e-99a4-6ca645b6f0d5

Concentration, Market Power and Dynamism in the Euro Area

ECB Working Paper No. 2253 (2019); ISBN 978-92-899-3515-9

 

Posted: 26 Mar 2019

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3360233&download=yes

The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

Jan De Loecker
Jan Eeckhout
Gabriel Unger
November 22, 2018

 

Click to access RMP.pdf

 

Competition, Concentration, and Anti-Trust Laws in the USA

Competition, Concentration, and Anti-Trust Laws in the USA

 

Currently the US FTC has been having hearings on concentration, competition, and anti-trust laws in the USA.  Several conferences are organized starting with September 2018.  I present links to hearings details and videos of the sessions.  As of now, two hearings have already taken place.  I have given the links to the third hearing below.  Economists Joe Stiglitz and Jason Furman have given speeches and presentations during first and second hearings.

Key Sources of Research:

Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The Federal Trade Commission will hold a series of public hearings during the fall and winter 2018 examining whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection law, enforcement priorities, and policy. The PDF version of this content includes footnotes and sources. All the hearings will be webcast live.

 

https://www.ftc.gov/policy/hearings-competition-consumer-protection

Click to access hearings-announcement_0.pdf

 

 

Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century: Opening Session

September 14, 2018

DAVIS POLK

 

Click to access 2018-09-14_hearings_on_competition_consumer_protection_in_21st_century.pdf

 

 

FTC Hearing #1: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

Hearing #1 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, September 13-14, 2018

 

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/2018/09/ftc-hearing-1-competition-consumer-protection-21st-century

Click to access agenda-hearings-georgetown_3.pdf

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-welcome-session-1

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-welcome-session-2

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-welcome-session-3

 

 

 

 

FTC Hearing #2: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

FTC Hearing #2: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

 

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/09/ftc-announces-second-session-hearings-competition-consumer

Click to access hearings-agenda-cc-sept_0.pdf

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/ftc-hearing-2-competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-state-us-0

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/ftc-hearing-2-competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-state-us

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/ftc-hearing-2-competition-consumer-protection-21st-century-monopsony

 

FTC Hearing #3: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

FTC Hearing #3: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century - George Mason University

 

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/2018/10/ftc-hearing-3-competition-consumer-protection-21st-century

 https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_events/1413712/hearings-agenda-gmu_5.pdf

THE UNITED STATES HAS A MARKET CONCENTRATION PROBLEM

REVIEWING CONCENTRATION ESTIMATES IN ANTITRUST MARKETS, 2000-PRESENT

 

ISSUE BRIEF BY ADIL ABDELA AND MARSHALL STEINBAUM

SEPTEMBER 2018

 

Click to access ftc-2018-0074-d-0042-155544.pdf

 

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the US has a major monopoly problem

https://www.businessinsider.com/joseph-stiglitz-says-the-us-has-a-major-monopoly-problem-2018-9

 

 

Competition Conference 2018

What’s the Evidence for Strengthening Competition Policy?

Boston University

http://sites.bu.edu/tpri/news-and-events/competition-conference-2018/

http://sites.bu.edu/tpri/competition-conference-2018-program-and-papers/

 

Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related?

Jason Furman and Peter Orszag

June 2018

 

Click to access wp18-4.pdf

 

 

 

Market Power and Monetary Policy

Speech given by

Andrew G Haldane Chief Economist Bank of England

Co-authors: Tommaso Aquilante, Shiv Chowla, Nikola Dacic, Riccardo Masolo, Patrick Schneider, Martin Seneca and Srdan Tatomir.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Symposium Jackson Hole, Wyoming

24 August 2018

 

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/speech/2018/market-power-and-monetary-policy-speech-by-andy-haldane.pdf?la=en&hash=ECC7B63705847EC5E68DEFC86C56B887B9DBD0CD

Shareholder Capitalism: Rising Market Concentration, Slower Productivity Growth, Rising Inequality, Rising Profits, and Rising Equities Markets

Shareholder Capitalism: Rising Market Concentration, Slower Productivity Growth, Rising Inequality, Rising Profits, and Rising Equities Markets

 

Public traded companies are always under pressure to show earnings growth and sales revenue growth to enhance shareholder value.

 

How do they do it when markets have matured and economy has slowed?

  • Lower Costs
  • Increase Market Share
  • Find New Markets
  • Diversify
  • Create New products and servicces

 

How do then companies lower their costs?

  • Vertical Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Outsourcing (Sourcing parts and components / Intermediate Goods / Inputs from cross border)
  • Offshoring (Shifting Production cross border)
  • Vertical Integration

 

How do then companies increase their market share?

  • Horizontal Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Cross Border Markets Share (Sales in other countries)

 

In the last thirty years, this is exactly what has happened in US economy.

Macro Trends of increase in Outsourcing/Offshoring, Increase in Market Concentration, Increase in Inequality, Increase in Corporate Profits, Rising Equity Prices, Slower Productivity Growth, Lower Interest Rates, Low Labor Share, and Capital Share.

Please see my other posts expanding on these issues.

Please note that these forces are continuing and trends will remain on current trajectory.

 

Key Terms:

  • Stakeholder vs Shareholder Capitalism
  • Short Termism
  • Slow Productivity Growth
  • Rising Market Concentration
  • Rising Profits
  • Rising Equities Market
  • Rising Inequality
  • Dupont Ratio Analysis
  • Financial Planning (Micro – Firm Level)
  • Economic Planning (Macro- Aggregate Level)
  • Quarterly Capitalism

 

From SHAREHOLDER CAPITALISM: A SYSTEM IN CRISIS

Our current, highly financialised, form of shareholder capitalism is not just failing to provide new capital for investment, it is actively undermining the ability of listed companies to reinvest their own profits. The stock market has become a vehicle for extracting value from companies, not for injecting it.

No wonder that Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, recently suggested that shareholder capitalism is ‘eating itself.’1 Corporate governance has become dominated by the need to maximise short-term shareholder returns. At the same time, financial markets have grown more complex, highly intermediated, and similarly shorttermist, with shares increasingly seen as paper assets to be traded rather than long term investments in sound businesses.

This kind of trading is a zero-sum game with no new wealth, let alone social value, created. For one person to win, another must lose – and increasingly, the only real winners appear to be the army of financial intermediaries who control and perpetuate the merry-goround. There is nothing natural or inevitable about the shareholder-owned corporation as it currently exists. Like all economic institutions, it is a product of political and economic choices which can and should be remade if they no longer serve our economy, society, or environment.

Here’s the impact this shareholder model is currently having:
• Economy: Shareholder capitalism is holding back productive investment. Even the Chief Executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has admitted that pressure to keep the share price high means corporate leaders are ‘underinvesting in innovation, skilled workforces or essential capital expenditures.’ 2
• Society: Shareholder capitalism is driving inequality. There is growing evidence that attempts to align executive pay with shareholder value are largely responsible for the ballooning of salaries at the top. The prioritisation of shareholder interests has also contributed to a dramatic decline in UK wages relative to profits, helping to explain the failure of ordinary people’s living standards to rise in line with economic growth.
• Environment: Shareholder capitalism helps to drive environmental destruction. It does this by driving risky shortterm behaviour, such as fossil fuel extraction, which ignores long-term environmental risks.

The idea that shareholder capitalism is the most efficient way to mobilise large amounts of capital is no longer tenable.

We need both to create new models of companies, and implement new ways of organising investment that are fit for building an inclusive, equal, and sustainable economy.

Companies should be explicitly accountable to a mission and a set of interests beyond shareholder returns. Equally, investment must provide long-term capital for socially and environmentally useful projects, and damaging forms of speculation must be restricted.

For most people, our economy simply is not working, and the damaging aspects of shareholder capitalism are at least in part responsible. Reforming shareholder capitalism must not be dismissed as too difficult – the crisis is too urgent for that. We can take the first steps towards a better economic model right now. It’s time to act.

 

 

A Crash Course in Dupont Financial Ratio Analysis

 

  • What happens when economic growth slows ?
  • What happens when profit margins decline ?
  • What happens when Sales growth is limited ?
  • What does lead to Mergers and Acquisitions ?
  • What is the impact of Cost of Capital ?
  • What is EVA (Economic Value Added) ?
  • What is impact of Outsourcing/Offshoring on Financial Ratios ?
  • What is impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on Financial Ratios ?
  • What is impact of Stock Buy Backs on Financial Ratios ?
  • What is impact of Dividends on Financial Ratios ?
  • ROS (Return on Sales)
  • ROE (Return on Equities)
  • ROA (Return on Assets)
  • ROIC (Return on Invested Capital)
  • EVA (Economic Value Added)
  • MVA (Market Value Added)

From The DuPont Equation, ROE, ROA, and Growth

The DuPont Equation

The DuPont equation is an expression which breaks return on equity down into three parts: profit margin, asset turnover, and leverage.

Learning Objectives

Explain why splitting the return on equity calculation into its component parts may be helpful to an analyst

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • By splitting ROE into three parts, companies can more easily understand changes in their returns on equity over time.
  • As profit margin increases, every sale will bring more money to a company’s bottom line, resulting in a higher overall return on equity.
  • As asset turnover increases, a company will generate more sales per asset owned, resulting in a higher overall return on equity.
  • Increased financial leverage will also lead to an increase in return on equity, since using more debt financing brings on higher interest payments, which are tax deductible.

Key Terms

  • competitive advantage: something that places a company or a person above the competition

The DuPont Equation

image

DuPont Model: A flow chart representation of the DuPont Model.

The DuPont equation is an expression which breaks return on equity down into three parts. The name comes from the DuPont Corporation, which created and implemented this formula into their business operations in the 1920s. This formula is known by many other names, including DuPont analysis, DuPont identity, the DuPont model, the DuPont method, or the strategic profit model.

The DuPont Equation: In the DuPont equation, ROE is equal to profit margin multiplied by asset turnover multiplied by financial leverage.

Under DuPont analysis, return on equity is equal to the profit margin multiplied by asset turnover multiplied by financial leverage. By splitting ROE (return on equity) into three parts, companies can more easily understand changes in their ROE over time.

Components of the DuPont Equation: Profit Margin

Profit margin is a measure of profitability. It is an indicator of a company’s pricing strategies and how well the company controls costs. Profit margin is calculated by finding the net profit as a percentage of the total revenue. As one feature of the DuPont equation, if the profit margin of a company increases, every sale will bring more money to a company’s bottom line, resulting in a higher overall return on equity.

Components of the DuPont Equation: Asset Turnover

Asset turnover is a financial ratio that measures how efficiently a company uses its assets to generate sales revenue or sales income for the company. Companies with low profit margins tend to have high asset turnover, while those with high profit margins tend to have low asset turnover. Similar to profit margin, if asset turnover increases, a company will generate more sales per asset owned, once again resulting in a higher overall return on equity.

Components of the DuPont Equation: Financial Leverage

Financial leverage refers to the amount of debt that a company utilizes to finance its operations, as compared with the amount of equity that the company utilizes. As was the case with asset turnover and profit margin, Increased financial leverage will also lead to an increase in return on equity. This is because the increased use of debt as financing will cause a company to have higher interest payments, which are tax deductible. Because dividend payments are not tax deductible, maintaining a high proportion of debt in a company’s capital structure leads to a higher return on equity.

The DuPont Equation in Relation to Industries

The DuPont equation is less useful for some industries, that do not use certain concepts or for which the concepts are less meaningful. On the other hand, some industries may rely on a single factor of the DuPont equation more than others. Thus, the equation allows analysts to determine which of the factors is dominant in relation to a company’s return on equity. For example, certain types of high turnover industries, such as retail stores, may have very low profit margins on sales and relatively low financial leverage. In industries such as these, the measure of asset turnover is much more important.

High margin industries, on the other hand, such as fashion, may derive a substantial portion of their competitive advantage from selling at a higher margin. For high end fashion and other luxury brands, increasing sales without sacrificing margin may be critical. Finally, some industries, such as those in the financial sector, chiefly rely on high leverage to generate an acceptable return on equity. While a high level of leverage could be seen as too risky from some perspectives, DuPont analysis enables third parties to compare that leverage with other financial elements that can determine a company’s return on equity.

ROE and Potential Limitations

Return on equity measures the rate of return on the ownership interest of a business and is irrelevant if earnings are not reinvested or distributed.

Learning Objectives

Calculate a company’s return on equity

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Return on equity is an indication of how well a company uses investment funds to generate earnings growth.
  • Returns on equity between 15% and 20% are generally considered to be acceptable.
  • Return on equity is equal to net income (after preferred stock dividends but before common stock dividends) divided by total shareholder equity (excluding preferred shares ).
  • Stock prices are most strongly determined by earnings per share (EPS) as opposed to return on equity.

Key Terms

  • fundamental analysis: An analysis of a business with the goal of financial projections in terms of income statement, financial statements and health, management and competitive advantages, and competitors and markets.

Return On Equity

Return on equity (ROE) measures the rate of return on the ownership interest or shareholders’ equity of the common stock owners. It is a measure of a company’s efficiency at generating profits using the shareholders’ stake of equity in the business. In other words, return on equity is an indication of how well a company uses investment funds to generate earnings growth. It is also commonly used as a target for executive compensation, since ratios such as ROE tend to give management an incentive to perform better. Returns on equity between 15% and 20% are generally considered to be acceptable.

The Formula

Return on equity is equal to net income, after preferred stock dividends but before common stock dividends, divided by total shareholder equity and excluding preferred shares.

Return On Equity: ROE is equal to after-tax net income divided by total shareholder equity.

Expressed as a percentage, return on equity is best used to compare companies in the same industry. The decomposition of return on equity into its various factors presents various ratios useful to companies in fundamental analysis.

ROE Broken Down: This is an expression of return on equity decomposed into its various factors.

The practice of decomposing return on equity is sometimes referred to as the “DuPont System. ”

Potential Limitations of ROE

Just because a high return on equity is calculated does not mean that a company will see immediate benefits. Stock prices are most strongly determined by earnings per share (EPS) as opposed to return on equity. Earnings per share is the amount of earnings per each outstanding share of a company’s stock. EPS is equal to profit divided by the weighted average of common shares.

Earnings Per Share: EPS is equal to profit divided by the weighted average of common shares.

The true benefit of a high return on equity comes from a company’s earnings being reinvested into the business or distributed as a dividend. In fact, return on equity is presumably irrelevant if earnings are not reinvested or distributed.

Assessing Internal Growth and Sustainability

Sustainable– as opposed to internal– growth gives a company a better idea of its growth rate while keeping in line with financial policy.

Learning Objectives

Calculate a company’s internal growth and sustainability ratios

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The internal growth rate is a formula for calculating the maximum growth rate a firm can achieve without resorting to external financing.
  • Sustainable growth is defined as the annual percentage of increase in sales that is consistent with a defined financial policy.
  • Another measure of growth, the optimal growth rate, assesses sustainable growth from a total shareholder return creation and profitability perspective, independent of a given financial strategy.

Key Terms

  • retention: The act of retaining; something retained
  • retention ratio: retained earnings divided by net income
  • sustainable growth rate: the optimal growth from a financial perspective assuming a given strategy with clear defined financial frame conditions/ limitations

Internal Growth and Sustainability

The true benefit of a high return on equity arises when retained earnings are reinvested into the company’s operations. Such reinvestment should, in turn, lead to a high rate of growth for the company. The internal growth rate is a formula for calculating maximum growth rate that a firm can achieve without resorting to external financing. It’s essentially the growth that a firm can supply by reinvesting its earnings. This can be described as (retained earnings)/(total assets ), or conceptually as the total amount of internal capital available compared to the current size of the organization.

We find the internal growth rate by dividing net income by the amount of total assets (or finding return on assets ) and subtracting the rate of earnings retention. However, growth is not necessarily favorable. Expansion may strain managers’ capacity to monitor and handle the company’s operations. Therefore, a more commonly used measure is the sustainable growth rate.

Sustainable growth is defined as the annual percentage of increase in sales that is consistent with a defined financial policy, such as target debt to equity ratio, target dividend payout ratio, target profit margin, or target ratio of total assets to net sales.

We find the sustainable growth rate by dividing net income by shareholder equity (or finding return on equity) and subtracting the rate of earnings retention. While the internal growth rate assumes no financing, the sustainable growth rate assumes you will make some use of outside financing that will be consistent with whatever financial policy being followed. In fact, in order to achieve a higher growth rate, the company would have to invest more equity capital, increase its financial leverage, or increase the target profit margin.

Optimal Growth Rate

Another measure of growth, the optimal growth rate, assesses sustainable growth from a total shareholder return creation and profitability perspective, independent of a given financial strategy. The concept of optimal growth rate was originally studied by Martin Handschuh, Hannes Lösch, and Björn Heyden. Their study was based on assessments on the performance of more than 3,500 stock-listed companies with an initial revenue of greater than 250 million Euro globally, across industries, over a period of 12 years from 1997 to 2009.

image

Revenue Growth and Profitability: ROA, ROS and ROE tend to rise with revenue growth to a certain extent.

Due to the span of time included in the study, the authors considered their findings to be, for the most part, independent of specific economic cycles. The study found that return on assets, return on sales and return on equity do in fact rise with increasing revenue growth of between 10% to 25%, and then fall with further increasing revenue growth rates. Furthermore, the authors attributed this profitability increase to the following facts:

  1. Companies with substantial profitability have the opportunity to invest more in additional growth, and
  2. Substantial growth may be a driver for additional profitability, whether by attracting high performing young professionals, providing motivation for current employees, attracting better business partners, or simply leading to more self-confidence.

However, according to the study, growth rates beyond the “profitability maximum” rate could bring about circumstances that reduce overall profitability because of the efforts necessary to handle additional growth (i.e., integrating new staff, controlling quality, etc).

Dividend Payments and Earnings Retention

The dividend payout and retention ratios offer insight into how much of a firm’s profit is distributed to shareholders versus retained.

Learning Objectives

Calculate a company’s dividend payout and retention ratios

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Many corporations retain a portion of their earnings and pay the remainder as a dividend.
  • Dividends are usually paid in the form of cash, store credits, or shares in the company.
  • Cash dividends are a form of investment income and are usually taxable to the recipient in the year that they are paid.
  • Dividend payout ratio is the fraction of net income a firm pays to its stockholders in dividends.
  • Retained earnings can be expressed in the retention ratio.

Key Terms

  • stock split: To issue a higher number of new shares to replace old shares. This effectively increases the number of shares outstanding without changing the market capitalization of the company.

Dividend Payments and Earnings Retention

Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. On the other hand, retained earnings refers to the portion of net income which is retained by the corporation rather than distributed to its owners as dividends. Similarly, if the corporation takes a loss, then that loss is retained and called variously retained losses, accumulated losses or accumulated deficit. Retained earnings and losses are cumulative from year to year with losses offsetting earnings. Many corporations retain a portion of their earnings and pay the remainder as a dividend.

A dividend is allocated as a fixed amount per share. Therefore, a shareholder receives a dividend in proportion to their shareholding. Retained earnings are shown in the shareholder equity section in the company’s balance sheet –the same as its issued share capital.

Public companies usually pay dividends on a fixed schedule, but may declare a dividend at any time, sometimes called a “special dividend” to distinguish it from the fixed schedule dividends. Dividends are usually paid in the form of cash, store credits (common among retail consumers’ cooperatives), or shares in the company (either newly created shares or existing shares bought in the market). Further, many public companies offer dividend reinvestment plans, which automatically use the cash dividend to purchase additional shares for the shareholder.

Cash dividends (most common) are those paid out in currency, usually via electronic funds transfer or a printed paper check. Such dividends are a form of investment income and are usually taxable to the recipient in the year they are paid. This is the most common method of sharing corporate profits with the shareholders of the company. For each share owned, a declared amount of money is distributed. Thus, if a person owns 100 shares and the cash dividend is $0.50 per share, the holder of the stock will be paid $50. Dividends paid are not classified as an expense but rather a deduction of retained earnings. Dividends paid do not show up on an income statement but do appear on the balance sheet.

image

Example Balance Sheet: Retained earnings can be found on the balance sheet, under the owners’ (or shareholders’) equity section.

Stock dividends are those paid out in the form of additional stock shares of the issuing corporation or another corporation (such as its subsidiary corporation). They are usually issued in proportion to shares owned (for example, for every 100 shares of stock owned, a 5% stock dividend will yield five extra shares). If the payment involves the issue of new shares, it is similar to a stock split in that it increases the total number of shares while lowering the price of each share without changing the market capitalization, or total value, of the shares held.

Dividend Payout and Retention Ratios

Dividend payout ratio is the fraction of net income a firm pays to its stockholders in dividends:

The part of the earnings not paid to investors is left for investment to provide for future earnings growth. These retained earnings can be expressed in the retention ratio. Retention ratio can be found by subtracting the dividend payout ratio from one, or by dividing retained earnings by net income.

Dividend Payout Ratio: The dividend payout ratio is equal to dividend payments divided by net income for the same period.

Relationships between ROA, ROE, and Growth

Return on assets is a component of return on equity, both of which can be used to calculate a company’s rate of growth.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the different uses of the Return on Assets and Return on Assets ratios

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Return on equity measures the rate of return on the shareholders ‘ equity of common stockholders.
  • Return on assets shows how profitable a company’s assets are in generating revenue.
  • In other words, return on assets makes up two-thirds of the DuPont equation measuring return on equity.
  • Capital intensity is the term for the amount of fixed or real capital present in relation to other factors of production. Rising capital intensity pushes up the productivity of labor.

Key Terms

  • return on common stockholders’ equity: a fiscal year’s net income (after preferred stock dividends but before common stock dividends) divided by total equity (excluding preferred shares), expressed as a percentage
  • quantitatively: With respect to quantity rather than quality.

Return On Assets Versus Return On Equity

In review, return on equity measures the rate of return on the ownership interest (shareholders’ equity) of common stockholders. Therefore, it shows how well a company uses investment funds to generate earnings growth. Return on assets shows how profitable a company’s assets are in generating revenue. Return on assets is equal to net income divided by total assets.

Return On Assets: Return on assets is equal to net income divided by total assets.

This percentage shows what the company can do with what it has (i.e., how many dollars of earnings they derive from each dollar of assets they control). This is in contrast to return on equity, which measures a firm’s efficiency at generating profits from every unit of shareholders’ equity. Return on assets is, however, a vital component of return on equity, being an indicator of how profitable a company is before leverage is considered. In other words, return on assets makes up two-thirds of the DuPont equation measuring return on equity.

ROA, ROE, and Growth

In terms of growth rates, we use the value known as return on assets to determine a company’s internal growth rate. This is the maximum growth rate a firm can achieve without resorting to external financing. We use the value for return on equity, however, in determining a company’s sustainable growth rate, which is the maximum growth rate a firm can achieve without issuing new equity or changing its debt-to-equity ratio.

Capital Intensity and Growth

Return on assets gives us an indication of the capital intensity of the company. “Capital intensity” is the term for the amount of fixed or real capital present in relation to other factors of production, especially labor. The underlying concept here is how much output can be procured from a given input (assets!). The formula for capital intensity is below:

Capital Intensity=Total AssetsSales

The use of tools and machinery makes labor more effective, so rising capital intensity pushes up the productivity of labor. While companies that require large initial investments will generally have lower return on assets, it is possible that increased productivity will provide a higher growth rate for the company. Capital intensity can be stated quantitatively as the ratio of the total money value of capital equipment to the total potential output. However, when we adjust capital intensity for real market situations, such as the discounting of future cash flows, we find that it is not independent of the distribution of income. In other words, changes in the retention or dividend payout ratios can lead to changes in measured capital intensity.

 

 

1280px-DuPontModelEng.svg

Please see my related posts:

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

Why do Firms buyback their Shares? Causes and Consequences.

FDI vs Outsourcing: Extending Boundaries or Extending Network Chains of Firms

Trading Down: NAFTA, TPP, TATIP and Economic Globalization

On Inequality of Wealth and Income – Causes and Consequences

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

Low Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness

Low Interest Rates and Banks’ Profitability : Update July 2017

Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

The Decline in Long Term Real Interest Rates

Low Interest Rates and Banks Profitability: Update – December 2016

 

 Key Sources of Research:

 

 

 

The DuPont Equation, ROE, ROA, and Growth

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-finance/chapter/the-dupont-equation-roe-roa-and-growth/

 

 

Short-Termism in business: causes, mechanisms and consequences

EY Poland Report

 

Click to access Short-termism_raport_EY.pdf

 

 

Shareholders vs Stakeholders Capitalism

Fabian Brandt

Goethe University

Konstantinos Georgiou

University of Pennsylvania

 

https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=fisch_2016

 

 

Hedrick Smith Speaks to the Community about Who Stole the American Dream.

 

http://nhlabornews.com/2013/10/hedrick-smith-speaks-to-the-community-about-who-stole-the-american-dream/

 

 

Let’s Talk About “Maximizing Shareholder Value”

https://www.pragcap.com/lets-talk-about-maximizing-shareholder-value/

 

 

SHAREHOLDER CAPITALISM: A SYSTEM IN CRISIS

 

New Economics Foundation

 

Click to access NEF_SHAREHOLDER-CAPITALISM_E_latest.pdf

 

 

 

THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF SHAREHOLDER VALUE CAPITALISM

 

Mark S. Mizruchi and Howard Kirneldorf

 

Click to access 191bbc2b82f351633c7379deea7b9ccad0e9.pdf

 

 

Shareholder capitalism on trial

 

By Robert J. Samuelson

 

Click to access 03-19-15_WashingtonPost.pdf

 

 

 

The real business of business

McKinsey

 

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/dotcom/client_service/Corporate%20Finance/MoF/Issue%2053/MoF53_The_real_business_of_business.ashx

 

 

 

Managers and Market Capitalism

 

Rebecca Henderson Karthik Ramanna

HBR

 

Click to access Henderson_Ramanna___Managers_and_Market_Capitalism___March_2013.pdf

 

 

The Embedded Firm: Corporate Governance, Labor, and Finance Capitalism

Peer Zumbansen

Cynthia A. Williams

 

http://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1056&context=clpe

 

 

 

 

Andrew G Haldane: Who owns a company?

Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane,

Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England,

at the University of Edinburgh Corporate Finance Conference, Edinburgh,

22 May 2015.

 

Click to access r150811a.pdf

 

 

 

 

Capitalism for the Long Term

MARCH 2011
HBR

The Short Long

 

Speech by
Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, and Richard Davies

29th Societé Universitaire Europeene de Recherches Financieres Colloquium: New Paradigms in Money and Finance?

Brussels

May 2011

 

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/speech/2011/the-short-long-speech-by-andrew-haldane

 

 

 

 

Is short-termism wrecking the economy?

Redefining capitalism

By Eric Beinhocker and Nick Hanauer

Fast finance and slow growth

 

Andy Haldane

http://progressive-policy.net/2015/09/fast-finance-and-slow-growth/

 

Beyond Shareholder Value

The reasons and choices for corporate governance reform

Click to access BSV.pdf

 

 

AN ECONOMY FOR THE 99%

It’s time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few

OXFAM

 

Click to access bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf

 

 

Short-Termism

By Douglas K. Chia

 

Click to access 01181_millstein_10th_anniversary_essay_2_chia_v2.pdf

 

 

 

The Future of Finance

THE LSE REPORT

 

Click to access future-of-finance-chapter-3.pdf

 

 

 

Is Short-Term Behavior Jeopardizing the Future Prosperity of Business?

 

Click to access IsShortTermBehaviorJeopardizingTheFutureProsperityOfBusiness_CEOStrategicImplications.pdf

 

 

 

 

How Effective Capital Regulation can Help Reduce the Too‐Big‐To‐Fail Problem

Anat Admati

Stanford University

 

Click to access Minn-Fed-combined.pdf

 

 

 

Business School’s Worst Idea: Why the “Maximize Shareholder Value” Theory Is Bogus

Yves Smith

http://evonomics.com/maximize-shareholder-value-theory-yves-smith/

 

 

 

When Shareholder Capitalism Came to Town

The American Prospect

http://prospect.org/article/when-shareholder-capitalism-came-town

 

 

 

Competition Conference 2018

What’s the Evidence for Strengthening Competition Policy?

Boston University

July 2018

http://sites.bu.edu/tpri/competition-conference-2018/

 

 

 

Market Concentration

Issues paper by the Secretariat
6-8 June 2018

This document was prepared by the OECD Secretariat to serve as an issues paper for the hearing on market concentration taking place at the 129th meeting of the OECD Competition Committee on 6-8 June 2018

https://one.oecd.org/document/DAF/COMP/WD(2018)46/en/pdf

 

 

 

 

Monopoly’s New Era

In today’s economy, many industries can’t be analyzed through the lens of competition.

Chazen Global Insights
May 13, 2016

 

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/articles/chazen-global-insights/monopoly-s-new-era

 

 

 

Market power in the U.S. economy today

Washington Center for Equitable Growth

http://equitablegrowth.org/research-analysis/market-power-in-the-u-s-economy-today/

 

 

 

Don’t Panic: A Guide to Claims of Increasing Concentration

Gregory J. Werden

Luke Froeb

 

Date Written: April 5, 2018

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3156912

 

 

 

Market concentration

OECD

http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/market-concentration.htm

 

 

 

 

A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality

Jason Furman Peter Orszag1

October 16, 2015

Click to access FurmanOrszag15.pdf

 

 

 

Do the Productivity Slowdown and the Inequality Increase Have a Common Cause?

Jason Furman (joint work with Peter Orszag)

Peterson Institute for International Economics
Washington, DC
November 9, 2017

Click to access 4-1furman20171109ppt.pdf

 

 

 

Is There a Connection Between Market Concentration and the Rise in Inequality?

https://promarket.org/connection-market-concentration-rise-inequality/

 

 

 

Concentrating on the Fall of the Labor Share

David; Dorn, David; Katz, Lawrence F; Patterson, Christina; Reenen, John Van

Click to access b8d7a989cab4b76e7fe795bf4572dbcdd0bc.pdf

 

 

 

 

Business Investment Spending Slowdown

April 9, 2018

FAS Congressional Research Services

Marc Labonte

Click to access IN10882.pdf

 

 

 

 

Market Power and Inequality: The Antitrust Counterrevolution and Its Discontents

Lina Khan and Sandeep Vaheesan

Click to access HLP110.pdf

 

 

 

Five Myths about Economic Inequality in America

By Michael D. Tanner
September 7, 2016

 

Cato Institiute

https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/five-myths-about-economic-inequality-america

 

 

 

 

Is the US Public Corporation in Trouble?

Kathleen M. Kahle and René M. Stulz

https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.31.3.67

 

 

 

Declining Labor and Capital Shares

Simcha Barkai

Click to access FeijooOnBarkai17.pdf

 

 

 

Growing Productivity without Growing Wages: The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Aggregate Labor Share Decline

Kehrig, Matthias; Vincent, Nicolas

(2017)

Click to access cesifo1_wp6454.pdf

 

 

 

 

Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S.

Germán Gutiérrez† and Thomas Philippon‡

March 2017

Click to access IK_Comp_v1.pdf

 

 

 

ACCOUNTING FOR RISING CORPORATE PROFITS: INTANGIBLES OR REGULATORY
RENTS?

James Bessen

Boston University School of Law

November 9, 2016

Click to access Accounting-for-Rising-Corporate-Profits.pdf

 

 

 

 

Kaldor and Piketty’s facts: The rise of monopoly power in the United States

Gauti Eggertsson
Jacob A. Robbins
Ella Getz Wold

Feb 2018

Click to access 02052018-WP-kaldor-piketty-monopoly-power.pdf

 

 

 

 

Is There an Investment Gap in Advanced Economies? If So, Why?

Robin Döttling

German Gutierrez Gallardo

Thomas Philippon

 

Date Written: July 2017

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3002796

 

 

 

 

Antitrust in a Time of Populism

Professor Carl Shapiro

CRESSE 2017 Heraklion – Crete, Greece

2 July 2017

Click to access 2017_Key_SHAPIRO.pdf

 

 

 

The Incredible Shrinking Universe of Stocks

The Causes and Consequences of Fewer U.S. Equities

Credit Suisse

March 2917

Click to access document_1072753661.pdf

 

 

 

Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S

German Gutierrez Gallardo

Thomas Philippon

 

Date Written: December 2017

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3095586

 

 

 

 

The Fall and Rise of Market Power in Europe

John P. Weche and Achim Wambach

Click to access dp18003.pdf

Click to access 1011811367.pdf

 

 

 

 

On the Formation of Capital and Wealth: IT, Monopoly Power and Rising Inequality

Mordecai Kurz,

Stanford University

2018

Click to access e50bf8be5c75f1cca2e9e3d4afa4b8b8ac84.pdf

 

 

 

 

Appendix for \Investment-less Growth: An Empirical Investigation”

 

German Gutierrez and Thomas Philippony

March 2018

Click to access gutierrezappendixfa17bpea.pdf

 

 

 

 

WP 18-4 Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality: Are They Related?

Jason Furman and Peter Orszag

June 2018

PIIE

Click to access wp18-4.pdf

 

 

 

 

THE FUTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY

OECD

2015

 

Click to access OECD-2015-The-future-of-productivity-book.pdf

 

 

 

 

OECD Study on the Future of Productivity

Video

PIIE

 

 

 

 

 

A productivity perspective on the future of growth

By James Manyika, Jaana Remes, and Jonathan Woetzel
McKinsey
2014

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/employment-and-growth/a-productivity-perspective-on-the-future-of-growth

 

 

 

 

The future of productivity in manufacturing

Anne Green, Terence Hogarth, Erika Kispeter, David Owen

Peter Glover

February 2016

Click to access ier_2016_manufacturing_sector_productivity_report.pdf

 

 

 

 

THE PRODUCTIVITY OUTLOOK: PESSIMISTS VERSUS OPTIMISTS

August 2016

Zia Qureshi
at the Brookings Institution

Click to access productivity-outlook.pdf

 

 

 

The Slowdown in Productivity Growth: A View from International Trade

Development Issues No. 11

UN

April 2017

Click to access dsp_policy_11.pdf

 

 

 

 

Five Puzzles in the Behavior of Productivity, Investment, and Innovation

Robert J. Gordon

NBER

August 2004

http://www.nber.org/papers/w10660

 

 

 

 

AN OECD AGENDA ON ISSUES IN PRODUCTIVITY MEASUREMENT

Paul Schreyer

OECD Statistics Directorate
2016 World KLEMS Conference
Madrid, May 23-24 2016

Click to access worldklems2016_Schreyer_slides.pdf

 

 

 

THE FUTURE OF PRODUCTIVITY

Chiara Criscuolo
Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation OECD

Understanding the Great recession: from micro to macro
Bank of England
London | 24 September 2015

Click to access CCriscuolo.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Industry 4.0

The future of Productivity and Growth in Manufacturing Industries

BCG

Click to access media.media.72e472fb-1698-4a15-8858-344351c8902f.original.pdf

 

 

 

 

The waning of productivity growth

Raymond Van der Putten

http://economic-research.bnpparibas.com/Views/DisplayPublication.aspx?type=document&IdPdf=29178

 

 

The Impact of Robots on Productivity, Employment and Jobs

A positioning paper by the International Federation of Robotics

April 2017

Click to access IFR_The_Impact_of_Robots_on_Employment.pdf

 

 

 

 

The fall in productivity growth: causes and implications

Speech given by Silvana Tenreyro, External MPC Member, Bank of England

Peston Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London

15 January 2018

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/speech/2018/the-fall-in-productivity-growth-causes-and-implications

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy

Science and Technology Council

Executive Office of the President

December 2016

Click to access EMBARGOED%20AI%20Economy%20Report.pdf

 

 

 

 

Long-term growth and productivity projections in advanced countries

Gilbert Cette, Rémy Lecat & Carole Ly-Marin

Working Paper #617

December 2016

Bank of France

Click to access DT617.pdf

 

 

 

ARE WE APPROACHING AN ECONOMIC SINGULARITY?
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

By
William D. Nordhaus

September 2015

Click to access d2021.pdf

 

 

 

Challenges for the Future of Chinese Economic Growth

Jane Haltmaier

Federal Reseve Bank USA

2013

Click to access ifdp1072.pdf

 

 

 

Innovation, research and the UK’s productivity crisis.

Richard Jones

SPERI Paper No. 28

Click to access SPERI-Paper-28-Innovation-research-and-the-UK-productivity-crisis.pdf

 

 

 

Think Like an Enterprise: Why Nations Need Comprehensive Productivity Strategies

BY ROBERT D. ATKINSON

MAY 2016

Click to access 2016-think-like-an-enterprise.pdf

 

 

 

Solving the productivity puzzle

By Jaana Remes, James Manyika, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Jan Mischke, and Mekala Krishnan

McKinsey

Feb 2018

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/meeting-societys-expectations/solving-the-productivity-puzzle

 

 

 

Solving the productivity puzzle: the role of demand and the promise of digitization

DR. JAN MISCHKE

McKinsey Global Institute

May 2018

Click to access 20180523-MGI_Solving-the-productivity-puzzle_Bruegel.pdf

 

 

Worried about Concentration? Then Worry about Rent-Seeking

By Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles
This article appeared on ProMarket on April 18, 2017.

 

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/worried-about-concentration-then-worry-about-rent-seeking

 

 

 

Online platforms, distortion of markets, social impacts and freedom of expression

Oxford Centre for Competition law and policy

22 May 2017

Tim Cowen.

Click to access Tim_Cowen_Oxford_Centre_for_Competition_Law_and_Policy_speech_22May2017—updated-21.09.2017.pdf

 

 

 

What’s Behind the Increase in Inequality?

By Eileen Appelbaum*

September 2017

Click to access whats-behind-the-increase-in-inequality-2017-09.pdf

 

 

 

A NATIONAL COMPETITION POLICY: UNPACKING THE PROBLEM OF DECLINING COMPETITION AND SETTING PRIORITIES MOVING FORWARD

American Antitrust Institute

September 28, 2016

Click to access AAINatlCompPolicy.pdf

 

 

 

AI and the Economy

Jason Furman
Harvard Kennedy School
Cambridge, MA

Robert Seamans
NYU Stern School of Business
New York, NY

29 May 2018

Click to access c14099.pdf

 

 

 

The United States and Europe: Short-Run Divergence and Long-Run Challenges

Jason Furman
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

Remarks at Bruegel
Brussels, Belgium
May 11, 2016

Click to access The-United-States-and-Europe-Short-Run-Divergence-and-Long-Run-Challenges-Jason-Furman.pdf

 

 

 

 

Business Investment Spending Slowdown

April 9, 2018

Marc Labonte

CRS Insights

Click to access IN10882.pdf

 

 

 

 

ECONOMIC REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT

Together With
THE ANNUAL REPORT
of the
COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS

Feb 2016

Click to access ERP-2016.pdf

 

 

Keynote Remarks of Commissioner Terrell McSweeny

Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Making Antitrust Work for the 21st Century

Washington, DC

October 6, 2016

Click to access mcsweeny_-_keynote_remarks_at_equitable_growth_10-6-16.pdf

 

 

Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story

Jason Furman

November 28, 2005

Click to access walmart.pdf

 

 

“America Without Entrepreneurs: The Consequences of Dwindling Startup Activity”

Testimony before
The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
United States Senate
June 29, 2016

John W. Lettieri
Cofounder
& Senior Director for Policy and Strategy
Economic Innovation Group

Click to access 7F75741C1A2E6182E1A5D21B61D278F3.lettieri-testimony.pdf

 

 

 

 

A reading list on market power, superstar firms, and inequality

BLOG

http://www.beyondthetimes.com/2017/08/16/a-partial-reading-list-on-market-power-superstar-firms-and-inequality/

 

 

 

 

 

Productivity Growth in the Advanced Economies:The Past, the Present, and Lessons for the Futures

Jason Furman

Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

July 2015

Click to access 20150709_productivity_advanced_economies_piie_slides.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Forms and sources of inequality in the United States

Jason Furman

17 March 2016

VOXEU

 

https://voxeu.org/article/forms-and-sources-inequality-united-states

 

 

 

 

Business Investment in the United States: Facts, Explanations, Puzzles, and Policies

Jason Furman
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
Progressive Policy Ins9tute

September 30, 2015

Click to access 2015.09.30-Jason-Furman_Business-Investment-in-US-Facts-Explanations-Puzzles-Policies.pdf

 

 

 

 

Can Tax Reform Get Us to 3 Percent Growth?

Jason Furman
Harvard Kennedy School & Peterson Institute for International Economics

New York, NY
November 3, 2017

Click to access furman20171103ppt.pdf

 

 

 

 

Structural Challenges and Opportunities in the U.S. Economy

Jason Furman
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

London School of Economics
November 5, 2014

Click to access 20141105_1830_structuralOpportunitiesUSEconomy_tr.pdf

 

 

Is This Time Different? The Opportunities and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

Jason Furman
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

Remarks at AI Now: The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near Term
New York University
New York, NY

July 7, 2016

Click to access 20160707_cea_ai_furman.pdf

 

 

 

 

Rebalancing the U.S. Economy

Jason Furman

Click to access TIE_Sp15_Furman.pdf

 

 

 

 

Should Policymakers Care Whether Inequality Is Helpful or Harmful For Growth?

Jason Furman

Harvard Kennedy School & Peterson Institute for International Economics
Rethinking Macroeconomic Conference, October 11-12 2017

Preliminary Draft: October 5, 2017

Click to access furman20171012paper.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

A Political Economy of Oligarchy: Winner-take-all ideology, superstar norms, and the rise of the 1%

Yochai Benkler

September, 2017

Click to access Political%20economy%20of%20oligarchy%2001.pdf

 

 

 

 

Can Trump Overcome Secular Stagnation?
Part One: The Demand Side *

James K. Galbraith

Click to access can_trump_overcome_secular_stagnation.pdf

 

 

 

 

The macroeconomic effects of the 2017 tax reform

Robert J. Barro, Harvard University
Jason Furman, Harvard University

March 2018

Click to access 4_barrofurman.pdf

 

 

 

 

A FUTURE THAT WORKS: AUTOMATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND PRODUCTIVITY

McKinsey Global Institute

January 2017

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/Digital%20Disruption/Harnessing%20automation%20for%20a%20future%20that%20works/A-future-that-works-Executive-summary-MGI-January-2017.ashx

 

 

 

A MISSING LINK: THE ROLE OF ANTITRUST LAW IN RECTIFYING EMPLOYER POWER IN OUR HIGH-PROFIT, LOW-WAGE ECONOMY

ISSUE BRIEF BY MARSHALL STEINBAUM

APRIL 2018

Click to access Monopsony-issue-brief.pdf

 

 

 

Inclusive Growth

For once, some good news

by jason furman

Click to access 16-29-MR64.pdf

 

 

 

 

The Outlook for the U.S. Economy and the Policies of the New President

Jason Furman
Senior Fellow, PIIE
Peterson Institute for International Economics |

SNS/SHOF Finance Panel

Stockholm

June 12, 2017

Click to access furman20170612ppt.pdf

 

 

 

 

The Role of Economists in Economic Policymaking

Jason Furman
Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Arnold C. Harberger Distinguished Lecture on Economic Development
UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
Los Angeles, CA

April 27, 2017

Click to access furman20170427.pdf

 

 

 

 

Market Concentration – Note by the United States

Hearing on Market Concentration
7 June 2018

OECD

Click to access market_concentration_united_states.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DAF/COMP/WD(2018)59&docLanguage=En

 

 

 

 

The fringe economic theory that might get traction in the 2016 campaign

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/02/the-fringe-economic-theory-that-might-get-traction-in-the-2016-campaign/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.77c5e3479485

 

 

 

ACHIEVING INCLUSIVE GROWTH IN THE FACE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND THE FUTURE OF WORK

OECD

Click to access achieving_inclusive_growth_in_the_face_of_digital_transformation_and_the_future_of_work_oecd_0.pdf

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

Rising Market Concentration and Declining Business Investments in the USA – Update June 2018

 

Since my last posts in August/September 2017 on the subject of

  • Market Concentration
  • Inequality
  • Market Power
  • Reduced Competition
  • Reduced Dynamism
  • Rising Profits
  • Declining Business Investments

several new studies have been published.  In addition, several important hearings and conferences have been organized by OECD, Brookings Institution, Boston University School of Law. Please see my list of references for details of each one of them.

This topic now is getting good attention in media also.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) held a major research conference on the “Policy Implications of Sustained Low Productivity Growth” on November 9, 2017. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, PIIE, moderates panel 4, “Wages and Inequality.” Presenters include Jason Furman, Harvard University and PIIE, and Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University.  I have given the link to Video of the session 4 in the references.

OECD on June 7-8, 2018 held hearings on Market Concentration at Paris, France.  Several presentations were given by experts in the field.  I have given link to the conference webpage in the references.

The Hamilton Project/Brookings Institution had a Conference on June 13, 2018 in Washington DC on the subject of Market Concentration.  Please see the link to the conference video and papers in the references below.

 

 

From The State of Competition and Dynamism:
Facts about Concentration, Start-Ups, and Related Policies

concentration

From The State of Competition and Dynamism:
Facts about Concentration, Start-Ups, and Related Policies

 

concentration2concentration3concentration4concentration5

Please see my related posts:

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, Circular and Cumulative Causation in Economics

Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in Economics

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

 

Key Sources of Research:

Building a More Dynamic and Competitive Economy

Hamilton Project

Brookings

June 13, 2018

http://www.hamiltonproject.org/events/building_a_more_dynamic_and_competitive_economy

Video of the Opening Remarks and Fireside Chat – Robert Rubin, Jason Furman, Steve Case

The State of Competition and Dynamism:
Facts about Concentration, Start-Ups, and Related Policies

 

Jay Shambaugh, Ryan Nunn, Audrey Breitwieser, and Patrick Liu

Brookings/Hamilton Project

June 2018

 

Click to access ES_THP_20180611_CompetitionFacts_20180611.pdf

 

 

 

Market Concentration

OECD Hearing on Market Concentration

June 7-8, 2018

http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/market-concentration.htm

 

 

 

Market Concentration Issues paper by the Secretariat

6-8 June 2018

OECD

 

http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DAF/COMP/WD(2018)46&docLanguage=En

http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DAF/COMP/WD(2018)67&docLanguage=En

 

 

 

Presented by the Business at OECD (BIAC) Competition Committee to the OECD Competition Committee

Market Concentration

June 7, 2018

 

Click to access BIAC_CC_Market-Concentration_2018-05-22_FINAL1.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter VI

MARKET POWER AND INEQUALITY: THE REVENGE OF THE RENTIERS

Trade and Development Report 2017

UNCTAD

 

Click to access tdr2017ch6_en.pdf

 

 

The fall and rise of market power in Europe∗

John P. Wechea,b & Achim Wambacha

 

Click to access dp18003.pdf

 

 

 

A policy at peace with itself: Antitrust remedies for our concentrated, uncompetitive economy

William A. Galston and Clara Hendrickson

2018

https://www.brookings.edu/research/a-policy-at-peace-with-itself-antitrust-remedies-for-our-concentrated-uncompetitive-economy/

 

 

 

 

The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

Jan De Loecker, Jan Eeckhout

Issued in August 2017

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23687

 

 

 

 

This chart highlights the rise of corporate giants

WEF

2018

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/06/chart-of-the-week-the-rise-of-corporate-giants

 

 

 

Market power in the U.S. economy today

 

https://equitablegrowth.org/market-power-in-the-u-s-economy-today/

 

 

 

Is Lack of Competition Strangling the U.S. Economy?

David Wessel

https://hbr.org/2018/03/is-lack-of-competition-strangling-the-u-s-economy

 

 

 

Competition Conference 2018

What’s the Evidence for Strengthening Competition Policy?

Boston University

July 2018

http://sites.bu.edu/tpri/news-and-events/competition-conference-2018/

 

 

 

Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S.

Germán Gutiérrez† and Thomas Philippon‡

November 2017

https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2018/preliminary/paper/iDeysKkh

 

 

Should We Really Care About Inequality?

https://www.project-syndicate.org/videos/should-we-really-care-about-inequality

 

 

 

 

Beyond Antitrust: The Role of Competition Policy in Promoting Inclusive Growth

Jason Furman

Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

Searle Center Conference on Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy Chicago, IL

September 16, 2016

 

Click to access 20160916_searle_conference_competition_furman_cea.pdf

 

 

POWERLESS: How Lax Antitrust and Concentrated Market Power
Rig the Economy Against American Workers, Consumers, and Communities

Roosvelt Institute

Click to access Powerless.pdf

 

 

 

Is Government the Problem or the Solution to U.S. Labor Market Challenges?

Jason Furman

2018

 

https://minneapolisfed.org/~/media/files/institute/conferences/2018-05/furman-slides.pdf?la=en

 

 

 

With Competition in Tatters, the Rip of Inequality widens

 

 

 

THE 2018 JOINT ECONOMIC REPORT

REPORT OF THE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

ON THE 2018 ECONOMIC REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT

 

Click to access CRPT-115hrpt596.pdf

 

 

 

 

Concentration not competition: the state of UK consumer markets

2017

 

Click to access Concentration-not-competition.pdf

 

 

 

CORPORATE RENT-SEEKING, MARKET POWER AND INEQUALITY:
TIME FOR A MULTILATERAL TRUST BUSTER?

UNCTAD

May 2018

 

Click to access presspb2018d3_en.pdf

 

 

 

America’s Superstar Companies Are a Drag on Growth

Lack of competition lets them gouge consumers, underpay workers and invest too little.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-01/america-s-superstar-companies-are-a-drag-on-growth

 

 

 

Big Companies Are Getting a Chokehold on the Economy

Even Goldman Sachs is worried that they’re stifling competition, holding down wages and weighing on growth.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-22/big-companies-gaining-monopoly-power-pose-risk-to-u-s-economy

 

 

 

Monopolies May Be Worse for Workers Than for Consumers

There isn’t much evidence that they raise prices, but they do seem to hold down wages.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-29/monopolies-may-be-worse-for-workers-than-for-consumers

 

 

 

 

LABOR MARKET CONCENTRATION

José Azar
Ioana Marinescu Marshall I. Steinbaum

2017 December

 

Click to access w24147.pdf

 

 

 

 

More and more companies have monopoly power over workers’ wages. That’s killing the economy.

The trend can explain slow growth, “missing” workers, and stagnant salaries.

 

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/4/6/17204808/wages-employers-workers-monopsony-growth-stagnation-inequality

 

Antitrust Remedies for Labor Market Power

Suresh Naidu

Eric A. Posner

E. Glen Weyl

 

Date Written: February 23, 2018

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3129221

 

 

Policy Implications of Sustained Low Productivity Growth – Panel 4

Jason Furman / Larry Summers

Peterson Institute for International Economics

November 2017

https://piie.com/events/policy-implications-sustained-low-productivity-growth

Presentation by jason Furman

Click to access 4-1furman20171109ppt.pdf

Paper by Jason Furman – published June 2018

Click to access wp18-4.pdf

Panel 4 Video:

 

On Inequality of Wealth and Income – Causes and Consequences

 On Inequality of Wealth and Income – Causes and Consequences

 

Disparity in Wealth and Income of American workers/household is a hot public policy/economic/social/political issue.

  • Wealth (Stock)
  • Income (Flow)

what are the causes and consequences of Inequality on economics and society?

 

From TRENDS IN INCOME INEQUALITY AND ITS IMPACT ON ECONOMIC GROWTH (OECD)

The disparity in the distribution of household incomes has been rising over the past three decades in a vast majority of OECD countries and such long-term trend was interrupted only temporarily in the first years of the Great Recession. Addressing these trends has moved to the top of the policy agenda in many countries. This is partly due to worries that a persistently unbalanced sharing of the growth dividend will result in social resentment, fuelling populist and protectionist sentiments, and leading to political instability. Recent discussions, particularly in the US, about increased inequality being one possible cause of the 2008 financial crisis also contributed to its relevance for policy making. But another growing reason for the strong interest of policy makers in inequality is concern about whether the cumulatively large and sometimes rapid increase in inequality might have an effect on economic growth and on the pace of exit from the current recession. Is inequality a pre-requisite for growth? Or does a greater dispersion of incomes across individuals rather undermine growth? And which are the short and long-term consequences of redistributive policies on growth?

From Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective (IMF)

Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. In advanced economies, the gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in decades. Inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain. Not surprisingly then, the extent of inequality, its drivers, and what to do about it have become some of the most hotly debated issues by policymakers and researchers alike. Against this background, the objective of this paper is two-fold.

First, we show why policymakers need to focus on the poor and the middle class. Earlier IMF work has shown that income inequality matters for growth and its sustainability. Our analysis suggests that the income distribution itself matters for growth as well. Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, then GDP growth actually declines over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher GDP growth. The poor and the middle class matter the most for growth via a number of interrelated economic, social, and political channels.

Second, we investigate what explains the divergent trends in inequality developments across advanced economies and EMDCs, with a particular focus on the poor and the middle class. While most existing studies have focused on advanced countries and looked at the drivers of the Gini coefficient and the income of the rich, this study explores a more diverse group of countries and pays particular attention to the income shares of the poor and the middle class—the main engines of growth. Our analysis suggests that

  • Technological progress and the resulting rise in the skill premium (positives for growth and productivity) and the decline of some labor market institutions have contributed to inequality in both advanced economies and EMDCs. Globalization has played a smaller but reinforcing role. Interestingly, we find that rising skill premium is associated with widening income disparities in advanced countries, while financial deepening is associated with rising inequality in EMDCs, suggesting scope for policies that promote financial inclusion.

  • Policies that focus on the poor and the middle class can mitigate inequality. Irrespective of the level of economic development, better access to education and health care and well-targeted social policies, while ensuring that labor market institutions do not excessively penalize the poor, can help raise the income share for the poor and the middle class.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling inequality. The nature of appropriate policies depends on the underlying drivers and country-specific policy and institutional settings. In advanced economies, policies should focus on reforms to increase human capital and skills, coupled with making tax systems more progressive. In EMDCs, ensuring financial deepening is accompanied with greater financial inclusion and creating incentives for lowering informality would be important. More generally, complementarities between growth and income equalityobjectives suggest that policies aimed at raising average living standards can also influence the distribution of income and ensure a more inclusive prosperity.

From World changes in inequality: an overview of facts, causes, consequences and policies (BIS)

Public concern about inequality has grown substantially in recent years. Politicians and journalists descant with increasing frequency on the increase in inequality as a threat to social stability, laying the blame on globalisation and its attendant so-called neo-liberal policies. There is certainly much truth in such views. However, the lack of rigour in the public debate is striking, and one may doubt whether a constructive discussion of inequality, its causes and its economic, social and political consequences can take place without more clarity. Is it really the case that inequality is everywhere increasing more or less continuously, as actually seems to be happening in the United States? What type of inequality are we talking about: earnings, market income, household disposable income per consumption unit, wealth? What matters most: the inequality of opportunity or the inequality of economic outcome, including income? What kind of measure should be used? The recently highly publicised share of the top 5, 1.1% taken from tax data may not evolve in the same way as the familiar Gini coefficient defined on disposable incomes. And, then, what is known about the nature of the unequalising forces that seem to affect our economies and what tools might be available to counteract them?

In an international survey conducted in 2010, people were asked how they thought inequality had changed over the previous 10 years.1 In few countries was the perception of inequality trends in agreement with what could be observed from standard statistical sources about inequality. US citizens felt inequality had remained the same, whereas it was surging by most accounts, Brazilians found it was also increasing despite the fact that, for the first time in over 40 years, inequality was declining, while French and Dutch people thought that inequality had increased although the usual inequality coefficients were remarkably stable.

Good policies must rely on precise diagnostics. It is the purpose of this paper to take stock of what is known at this stage about the evolution of inequality around the world. In so doing, it will be shown that an ever-increasing degree of inequality at all times and everywhere over the last 30 years is far from the reality, and that there is a high degree of specificity across countries. In turn, this suggests that the combination of equalising and unequalising forces may be quite different from one country to another. Some factors may be common and truly global but others may be country-specific, the outcome being quite variable across countries. It also follows that tools to correct inequality, if need be, may have to differ in nature depending on the causes of increased inequality.

Tackling all these issues in depth is beyond the scope of this paper. My aim is only to offer an overview of what is observed and the main ideas being debated in the field of economic inequality. The paper is organised as follows. It starts with a quick “tour d‘horizon“ of the evidence for the evolution of various dimensions of economic inequality. It then tackles the issue of the potential causes, identifying what may be seen as common to most countries and what may be specific. Finally, it touches upon the consequences of excessive inequality and the tools available to counter it, emphasising the rising constraints imposed by globalisation.

Causes of Inequality

  • Shareholder Capitalism
  • Focus on Cost Minimization
  • Focus on ROIC and Economic Value Added (EVA)
  • Consolidation – Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Free Trade Agreements – NAFTA
  • Increased Outsourcing
  • Global Commodity Chains
  • Global Production Networks
  • Global Value Chains
  • Lack of Educated Workforce
  • Lack of protection for Low income earners
  • Compensation for Executives vs Labor
  • Unemployment, Underemployment
  • Value of High Skilled Technical Workers
  • Technological Change
  • Skills Obsolescence

Consequences of Inequality

  • Impact on Effective Demand
  • Slows Economic Growth
  • Decreased Economic Mobility
  • Health and Social effects
  • Living Standards at the Bottom (Poverty)
  • Intergenerational Mobility
  • Democratic Process and Social Justice
  • Reduced Consumption
  • Financial Crisis
  • Social Cohesion
  • Global Imbalances
  • Hampers Poverty reduction
  • Access to Health services
  • Access to Financial Services
  • Access to Education

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

The Age of Inequality

Edited by Jeremy Gantz

2017

 

 

The Price of Inequality

Joseph Stiglitz

2012

A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality

Jason Furman

Peter Orszag

October 16, 2015

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/teaching/FurmanOrszag15.pdf

Firming Up Inequality

Jae Song, David J. Price Fatih Guvenen, Nicholas Bloom

2015

http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/62587/1/dp1354.pdf

 

 

 TOWARDS A BROADER VIEW OF COMPETITION POLICY

 

Joseph E. Stiglitz

University Professor, Columbia University,

Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute

June 2017

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/sites/jstiglitz/files/Towards%20a%20Broader%20View%20of%20Competition%20Policy_0.pdf

 

 

ACCOUNTING FOR RISING CORPORATE PROFITS: INTANGIBLES OR REGULATORY RENTS?

Boston University School of Law
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 16-18

November 9, 2016

https://www.bu.edu/law/files/2016/11/Accounting-for-Rising-Corporate-Profits.pdf

Inequality: Facts, Explanations, and Policies

Jason Furman
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

City College of New York New York, NY

October 17, 2016

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20161017_furman_ccny_inequality_cea.pdf

Domestic Outsourcing, Rent Seeking, and Increasing Inequality

 Eileen Appelbaum

First Published July 21, 2017

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0486613417697121

 

Global Concentration and the Rise of China

Caroline Freund and Dario Sidhu

Peterson Institute for International Economics

http://econ.au.dk/fileadmin/Economics_Business/Research/Seminars/2016/Global_Concentration_Final.pdf

How Could Wage Inequality within and Across Enterprises Be Reduced?

Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 17-62

Posted: 10 Jun 2017 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017

Christian Moser

Columbia University

Date Written: December 15, 2016

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2983691

 

 

 

The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms

David Autor, David Dorn, Lawrence F. Katz, Christina Patterson, John Van Reenen

NBER Working Paper No. 23396
Issued in May 2017

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23396

Inequality: A Hidden Cost of Market Power

Posted: 29 Mar 2017 Last revised: 31 Mar 2017

Sean F. Ennis  Pedro Gonzaga  Chris Pike

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) – Competition Division

Date Written: March 6, 2017

https://papers.ssrn.com/Sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2942791

 

 

Wealth and Income Inequality in the Twenty-First Century

Joseph E. Stiglitz
International Economic Association World Congress
Mexico City
June 2017

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/sites/jstiglitz/files/Wealth%20and%20Income%20Inequality%2021st%20Century.pdf

 

 

The Globalization of Production and Income Inequality in Rich Democracies

Matthew C Mahutga
Anthony Roberts
Ronald Kwon

Social Forces, Volume 96, Issue 1, 1 September 2017, Pages 181–214,

 

INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY: EVIDENCE AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS

EMMANUEL SAEZ

Contemporary Economic Policy

Vol. 35, No. 1, January 2017, 7–25
Online Early publication October 14, 2016

 

https://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/SaezCEP2017.pdf

 

 

Consequences of Rising Income Inequality

BY KEVIN J. LANSING AND AGNIESZKA MARKIEWICZ

October 17, 2016

Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

 

http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2016-31.pdf

 

 

 

Top Incomes, Rising Inequality, and Welfare

Kevin J. Lansing
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Agnieszka Markiewicz

June 2016

http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp12-23bk.pdf

 

 

Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective

Era Dabla-Norris, Kalpana Kochhar, Frantisek Ricka, Nujin Suphaphiphat, and Evridiki Tsounta
(with contributions from Preya Sharma and Veronique Salins)

IMF

June 2015

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2015/sdn1513.pdf

 

 

Piketty, Thomas. 2014.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

 

 

Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze—an Update to 2007

Edward N. Wolff

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

March 2010

http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_589.pdf

 

 

 

CONSUMPTION AND INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE U.S. SINCE THE 1960S

Bruce D. Meyer James X. Sullivan

NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

August 2017

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23655.pdf

 

 

Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes

Fatih Guvenen Greg Kaplan

April 2, 2017

https://gregkaplan.uchicago.edu/sites/gregkaplan.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/top_income_inequality_web_April2_2017.pdf

 

FIFTY YEARS OF GROWTH IN AMERICAN CONSUMPTION, INCOME, AND WAGES

Bruce Sacerdote

May 16, 2017

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~bsacerdo/Sacerdote%2050%20Years%20of%20Growth%20in%20American%20Wages%20Income%20and%20Consumption%20May%202017.pdf

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23292.pdf

 

 

The Inequality Puzzle

BY LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS

 

http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/33/the-inequality-puzzle/

 

 

 

 GLOBAL INEQUALITY DYNAMICS: NEW FINDINGS FROM WID.WORLD

Facundo Alvaredo Lucas Chancel Thomas Piketty Emmanuel Saez Gabriel Zucman

NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
February 2017, Revised April 2017

 

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23119.pdf

 

 

 

Power and inequality in the global political economy

NICOLA PHILLIPS

March 2017

https://academic.oup.com/ia/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ia/iix019

 

 

 Outsourcing governance: states and the politics of a ‘global value chain world’

Frederick W. Mayer & Nicola Phillips

04 Jan 2017

 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13563467.2016.1273341

 

 

What’s caused the rise in income inequality in the US?

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/05/whats-caused-the-rise-in-income-inequality-in-the-us/

Why are American Workers getting Poorer? China, Trade and Offshoring

Avraham Ebenstein, Ann Harrison, Margaret McMillan

NBER Working Paper No. 21027
Issued in March 2015

http://www.nber.org/papers/w21027

 

 

 

The Geography of Trade and Technology Shocks in the United States

David H. Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson

American Economic Review

May 2013

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.103.3.220

 

Economic Consequences of Income Inequality

Jason Furman
Joseph E. Stiglitz

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cee6/1573cd50b9c8eae3379cf1f1c92301f40927.pdf

 

Labor’s Declining Share of Income and Rising Inequality

https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroom-and-events/publications/economic-commentary/2012-economic-commentaries/ec-201213-labors-declining-share-of-income-and-rising-inequality.aspx

 

 

World changes in inequality: an overview of facts, causes, consequences and policies

by François Bourguignon
Monetary and Economic Department
August 2017

BIS working paper

http://www.bis.org/publ/work654.pdf

“Trends in Income Inequality and its Impact on Economic Growth”

OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 163

http://www.oecd.org/social/inequality.htm

http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/trends-in-income-inequality-and-its-impact-on-economic-growth-SEM-WP163.pdf

 

Causes of income inequality in the United States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_income_inequality_in_the_United_States

 

Economic inequality

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_inequality

 

 

Income inequality in the United States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States

 

 

Redistribution, Inequality, and Growth

Prepared by Jonathan D. Ostry, Andrew Berg, Charalambos G. Tsangarides

 

April 2014

IMF

 

Click to access sdn1402.pdf

 

 

 

Understanding the Economic Impact of the H-1B Program on the U.S.

John Bound† Gaurav Khanna‡ Nicolas Morales§

April 20, 2017

 

Click to access c13842.pdf

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

Rising Profits, Rising Inequality, and Rising Industry Concentration in the USA

 

There is a need for holistic/systemic understanding of causal relations among

  • Low Economic Growth
  • Low Real Long Term Interest Rates
  • Decreased Business Investment
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Activity
  • Industry Concentration
  • Decreased Competition
  • Rising Profits
  • Income Inequality
  • Shareholder Capitalism
  • Dividends Payouts
  • Buyback of Shares
  • Superstar Firms
  • Too Big to Fail
  • Oligopoly Economy / Oligarchy
  • Decreased Number of Stocks/Equities
  • Focus on Costs Minimization
  • Increased Outsourcing
  • Global Value Chains
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Market Power (Increased Market Share)
  • Decreased Dynamism
  • Herding by Suppliers
  • Labor Vs Executive Compensation
  • Unemployment
  • Concentration in Occupations

And don’t forget managerial focus on

  • Economic Value Added (EVA) since 1990s

 

There are two views to look at these issues

  • Aggregated View – Corporate Agglomeration and Spatial Dispersion / Extension
  • Disaggregated View – Micro Motives, Macro Behavior ( Bottom up Agent based view)

 

As the research papers below indicate, the scholarship is recent and need much more attention by the Economists and Policy makers.

 

From Is There a Connection Between Market Concentration and the Rise in Inequality?

The rise in wealth and income inequality has been at the forefront of the political debate in the U.S. in the last few years. At the same time, issues like market power and concentration, bigness, and antitrust have also come back into prominence, propelled by a growing body of research that points to diminishing competition across multiple American industries.

The possible connection between inequality and market concentration, however, has been relatively understudied for many years—until recent years, that is, when a sheafof new studies examining the interactions between concentration, market power, and inequality began to appear.

A 2015 paper by Jonathan Baker and Steven Salop, for instance, examined the connection between inequality and market power and argued that “because the creation and exercise of market power tend to raise the return to capital, market power contributes to the development and perpetuation of inequality.” Harvard Law School’s Einer Elhauge also found that horizontal shareholding likely leads to anti-competitive price raises and has regressive effects. Daniel Crane of the University of Michigan, however, contends that the connection between antitrust and wealth inequality has been grossly oversimplified by advocates of tougher antitrust enforcement.

Asked if there was a connection between concentration and inequality, Chicago Booth professors Austan Goolsbee, Steven Kaplan, and Sam Peltzman pointed to data being inconclusive. Goolsbee said: “Probably [there is a connection]. But we don’treally know more than correlations at this point.” Kaplan said his own research “suggests that winner-take-all markets (driven by technology and scale) play a rolein inequality. However, they may not play the most important role.” And Peltzmansaid that “The timing suggests so, but there are a lot of unconnected dots in this question.”

Is rising inequality connected to monopolies, rent-seeking, and concentration, or is it a result of larger forces like globalization and technology? Can antitrust be used effectively to mitigate inequality, or is concentration a sign of greater efficiency? These questions, and others, were debated by economists and legal scholars during a panel at the recent Stigler Center conference on concentration in America.

The panel featured Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard Freres; Justin Pierce, a Senior Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; Lina Khan, a fellow at Open Markets program at New America; Sabeel Rahman, an Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School; Simcha Barkai, a PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and German Gutierrez, a PhD Candidate at the New York University Stern School of Business. The panel was moderated by Matt Stoller of the Open Markets program at New America, who opened by observing that “a new kind of Brandeis School of antitrust is emerging, in terms of thinking about political economy.”

Much of the panel focused on the dramatic rise in corporate profits. A recent, much-discussed Stigler Center working paper by Simcha Barkai found that over the past 30 years, as labor’s share of output fell by 10 percent, the capital share declined even further. This finding goes against the argument that the labor share went down due to technological changes, or as Barkai put it: “We used to spend money on people, today we’re spending money on robots.”

Barkai’s paper finds no evidence to support the technological argument. “We’re spending less on all inputs. If you think of this from the perspective of a firm, this is terrific. After accounting for all of my costs—material inputs, workers, capital—I am left with a large amount of money, much more so than in the past.” What Barkai does find, however, is that profits have gone way up. From 1984 to 2014, the profit share increased from 2.5 percent of GDP to 15 percent.

“To give you a sense of how large these profits are, if you look over the past 30 years and you ask, ‘How much have profits increased?’ you can give a number in dollars. A better way to think about that is, “Per worker, how much have these dollars increased?” It’s about $14,000 per worker. That’s a really large number because, in 2014, personal median income was just over $28,000. It’s about half of personal median income,” said Barkai.

Barkai went on to say that these findings were more pronounced in industries that experienced an increase in concentration. “Those industries that have a large increase in concentration also have larger declines in the labor share,” he said. Barkai’s conclusions were echoed by a separate study that was recently published by David Autor, David Dorn, Lawrence Katz, Christina Patterson, and John Van Reenen, in which they found that higher concentration is connected to the fall in the labor share.

One way to consider the question of concentration and inequality, said Pierce, is to look at what happens to firms’ efficiency and markups as a result of a merger. In a recent paper with Bruce Blonigen, Pierce was able to utilize new techniques in order to isolate the effects of mergers in the manufacturing sector. Comparing data from factories that were acquired during mergers to similar factories that weren’t, and to factories where an acquisition has been announced but not yet completed, Pierce and Blonigen found no evidence of the standard argument that mergers benefit consumers by increasing efficiency, reducing production costs, and, in turn, lowering prices. Quite the opposite: they found evidence that mergers increase market power, allowing firms to generate higher profits by raising prices.

“What we find when we do this is that mergers on average are associated with increases in markups in a magnitude of 15 to 50 percent. When we look at the effect on productivity, we actually don’t find a statistically significant effect on productivity associated with mergers,” said Pierce.

Gutierrez, meanwhile, spoke about his 2016 paper with Thomas Philippon, in which the two found that concentrated industries with less entry and more concentration invest less. Before 2000, he explained, firms funneled about 20 cents of every dollar of surplus into investments. Since 2000, however, investments dropped by half—to 10 cents on the dollar.

Their findings, he said, rule out the argument that the drop in investments is related to control by the stock market. The data also rule out other theories, such as financial constraints, safety premiums, or globalization. “What we’re left with is competition, or lack of competition and governance,” said Gutierrez.

“What we find is that most industries have become more concentrated. That leads to a decrease in investment. It means less investment by leaders in particular, and at the industry as a whole. Some manufacturing industries have seen increased competition from China. For the U.S. in particular, we see that leaders invest more. They try and hold onto their position, but the overall effect is somewhat negative on aggregate investment in the U.S.”

How is this drop in investments connected to an increase in concentration? Gutierrez offered two hypotheses: one, that superstar firms, such as digital platforms, are more productive and are therefore capturing more market share. The second, he said, is increased regulation: “In particular, if you look at the cross section of industries, industries where regulation has increased have also tended to become more concentrated and have invested less.”

Orszag, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, co-authored a 2015 paper with former Obama economic adviser Jason Furman that explored the rise in “supernormal returns on capital” among firms that have limited competition. In the panel, he spoke about what he described as a “dramatic rise” in dispersion among firms in productivity and wages as an understudied driver of inequality.

“In general, if you look at most textbooks on economics and most discussions of public policy, firms are seen as this uninteresting thing that you have to deal with but don’t want to really get into the innards of. Why do some firms behave differently than others? Having now spent a bunch of time in the private sector, the culture in firms really is quite different. Firms do behave differently from one to another beyond just market structure. Within the same market in the same field, Firm A is not the same as Firm B, as people who work inside those firms know.”

Orszag pointed to OECD data that showed that top global firms have been largely exempted from the decline in productivity that advanced economies experienced over the last 10-15 years. “If there’s a structural explanation for that, whether it’s polarization or market structure or innovation, why is it affecting only the laggards in the industry and not those at the frontier? Secondly, why aren’t there more spillovers from the frontier firms within each sector to others? What is happening to the flow of information or the flow of technique or what have you that’s causing this broad, significant rise in productivity deltas across firms, even within the same sector?” he asked.

Orszag also suggested that contrary to media narratives that present growing gaps between CEO wages and median workers within each firm as a prominent driver of inequality, the bulk of the rise in wage gaps is happening between firms, and not within the firms themselves. Studies, he said, show a dramatic increase in between-firm wage inequality “and very little movement except at the very, very largest firms in within-firm inequality.”

Orszag added: “We don’t know exactly what’s causing this. This may be a sorting of workers. It may be sharing of rents in the form of wages for the top firms. It may be a whole variety of different things. What I do suggest is the vast majority of the discussion on income-and-wage inequality seems to just glide over this whole thing as if it doesn’t exist.”

A holistic approach to inequality and concentration

Khan, who in a recent paper with Sandeep Vaheesan explored the role of monopoly and oligopoly power in perpetuating inequality, argued that the way to understand the connection between market concentration and inequality is to take a more holistic approach.

The connection between excessive market concentration and inequality, she said, has been understudied for a long time. “We were really surprised to see that at the time, in 2014, there really wasn’t much research on this connection at all. The most comprehensive paper that we found was from 1975 by William Comanor and Robert Smiley, which found that monopoly power did in fact transfer wealth to the most affluent members of society and suggested that a more competitive economy would have more progressive redistributive effects,” said Kahn. “One way to understand why this connection between market concentration and inequality has been understudied is that the law decided that it wasn’t really important. Once we shifted from an antitrust approach that took a more holistic and multidimensional view of the effect of market power to an approach that privilege means prices, the research on these effects also took a hit.”

In their paper, Khan and Vaheesan argue that inequality not only harms efficiency, but also that firms use their market power to raise prices “above competitive levels to consumers and push prices below competitive levels for small producers.” The paper makes a case for more rigorous enforcement of antitrust laws, arguing that reinvigorating antitrust could be one possible remedy for the regressive redistributive effects of concentration and the political power of monopolies.

“I think at a very basic level, our current political economy reflects 30 years of doing antitrust in a very particular way,” said Khan, who listed several industries such as airlines, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and telecom, where prices have risen following mergers and industry consolidation.

“New business creation and growth have been on a secular decline. It’s worth recalling that in an earlier era, owning one’s own business was a form of asset building for the middle class, a way of passing on wealth to one’s children. This is especially still true in immigrant communities, where owning your own bodega or your own dry-cleaning service is a path of upward mobility. You can imagine how markets that shut out independent businesses are also effectively closing off that path of asset building,” said Khan.

Khan went on to discuss the political implications of excessive market power and how they can further entrench inequality. “Big firms and concentrated industries enjoy a level of political power that they can use to further entrench their economic dominance. Politics is another vessel by which we see this,” she said.

Rahman, author of the book Democracy Against Domination (Oxford University Press, 2016), also advocated for a wider view of the issue. “When we’re worried about the problem of concentration, I think it goes much broader than the specific areas of mergers and firm size, although that’s a big part of it,” he said.

“When we think about the good things that we want from the economy, we want it to be dynamic, we want it to be innovative, we want it to enable mobility. These things are not natural products. They are a property of the underlying structure of firms, of labor markets, of financial markets, and of policies, including antitrust,” said Rahman, who went on to discuss two aspects of the rise in concentration: digital platforms and the “Uber-ization” of more and more economic sectors, and what he described as a “growing geographic concentration of wealth, income, and opportunity between rural and urban.”

Rahman suggested that other tools, not just antitrust, could be used to combat excessive market power—particularly when it comes to the power of digital platforms. “The way I want to frame this is as a problem of concentration and inequality that warps the structure of opportunity in our economy,” said Rahman. “You have antitrust and public utility law, corporate governance, and labor law as three parts of the larger ecosystem of law and regulation that, coming out of that Progressive era debate about power, were the three complements that together, it was hoped, would produce a high-opportunity, a high-mobility economy that was open to all.”

 

Please also see my related post.

Low Interest Rates and Business Investments : Update August 2017

 

In addition to papers listed above, also see papers and articles mentioned in the references below.

Key sources of Research:

 

Rising Corporate Concentration, Declining Trade Union Power, and the Growing Income Gap: American Prosperity in Historical Perspective

Jordan Brennan

March 2016

 

http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/Brennan2016.pdf

They Just Get Bigger: How Corporate Mergers Strangle the Economy

Jordan Brennan

Feb 2017

http://evonomics.com/corporate-mergers-strangle-economy-jordan-brennan/

 The Oligarchy Economy: Concentrated Power, Income Inequality, and Slow Growth

Jordan Brennan

April 2016

http://evonomics.com/the-oligarchy-economy/

Declining Labor and Capital Shares

Simcha Barkai

November 2016

 

https://research.chicagobooth.edu/~/media/5872FBEB104245909B8F0AE8A84486C9.pdf

 

Lack of market competition, rising profits, and a new way to look at the division of income in the United States

Nov 2016

http://equitablegrowth.org/equitablog/lack-of-market-competition-rising-profits-and-a-new-way-to-look-at-the-division-of-income-in-the-united-states/

Rising U.S. business concentration and the decline in labor’s share of income

January 2017

http://equitablegrowth.org/equitablog/rising-concentration-declining-labor-share/

 

Concentrating on the Fall of the Labor Share

By DAVID AUTOR, DAVID DORN, LAWRENCE F. KATZ, CHRISTINA PATTERSON AND JOHN VAN REENEN

January 2017

http://www.nber.org/papers/w23108

Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S.

German Gutierrez and Thomas Philippon

March 2017

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty-research/sites/faculty-research/files/finance/Macro%20Lunch/IK_Comp_v1.pdf

 

Dynamism in Retreat:  Consequences for Regions, Markets, and Workers

2017

 

https://eig.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Dynamism-in-Retreat.pdf

 

The Oligopoly Problem

 

NewYorker

 

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-oligopoly-problem

 

 

DOES INDUSTRY CONCENTRATION MATTER?

John J. Phelan

2014

Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, Volume 15, Number 1, 2014

 

 

http://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/does-industry-concentration-matter.pdf

 

 

Increased Concentration of Occupations, Outsourcing, and Growing Wage Inequality in the United States

Elizabeth Weber Handwerker

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

April, 2017

 

http://www.sole-jole.org/17733.pdf

 

 

Measuring occupational concentration by industry

2014

 

https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/pdf/measuring-occupational-concentration-by-industry.pdf

 

 

Rising wage dispersion between white-collar and blue-collar workers and market concentration: The case of the USA, 1966-2011,

D. Ilhan

(2017)

 

https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/162859/1/893982539.pdf

 

 

 

Rising Profits Don’t Lift Workers’ Boats

2016

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-05/rising-profits-don-t-lift-workers-boats

Is There a Connection Between Market Concentration and the Rise in Inequality?

 A Firm-Level Perspective on the Role of Rents in the Rise in Inequality

Jason Furman Peter Orszag
October 16, 2015

 

http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/teaching/FurmanOrszag15.pdf

 Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency

Blonigen, Bruce A., and Justin R. Pierce

(2016).

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2016/files/2016082pap.pdf

 

 

Market Power and Inequality: The Antitrust Counterrevolution and its Discontents

11 Harvard Law & Policy Review 235 (2017)

24 Apr 2016Last revised: 22 Feb 2017

Lina Khan / Sandeep Vaheesan

 

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2769132

 

Too much of a good thing

Economist

March 26 2016

https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21695385-profits-are-too-high-america-needs-giant-dose-competition-too-much-good-thing

 

 The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms

David Autor, MIT and NBER

David Dorn, University of Zurich

Lawrence F. Katz, Harvard University and NBER

Christina Patterson, MIT

John Van Reenen, MIT and NBER

May 1, 2017

https://economics.mit.edu/files/12979

 

 

BENEFITS OF COMPETITION AND INDICATORS OF MARKET POWER

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160502_competition_issue_brief_updated_cea.pdf

 

 

 Market Concentration Grew During Obama Administration

SAM BATKINS, CURTIS ARNDT, BEN GITIS |

APRIL 7, 2016

 

https://www.americanactionforum.org/print/?url=https://www.americanactionforum.org/research/market-concentration-grew-obama-administration/

 Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Inequality

JONATHAN B. BAKER AND STEVEN C. SALOP

2015

http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2474&context=facpub

Horizontal Shareholding, Antitrust, Growth and Inequality

Are US Industries Becoming More Concentrated?

Gustavo Grullon   Yelena Larkin   Roni Michaely

Date Written: April 23, 2017

 

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2612047

Horizontal Shareholding

109 Harvard Law Review 1267 (2016)

Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 16-17    22 Apr 2016

 

Einer Elhauge

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2632024

IS THERE A CONCENTRATION PROBLEM IN AMERICA?

MARCH 27–29, 2017

Conference at University of Chicago / Stigler Center

https://research.chicagobooth.edu/stigler/events/single-events/march-27-2017

 

 

“Reigniting Competition in the American Economy”

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Keynote Remarks at New America’s Open Markets Program Event June 29, 2016

 

https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2016-6-29_Warren_Antitrust_Speech.pdf

 

 

The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

Jan De Loecker† Jan Eeckhout‡

August 24, 2017

http://www.janeeckhout.com/wp-content/uploads/RMP.pdf

The Rise of Market Power and the Decline of Labor’s Share

The Financialization of the U.S. Economy Has Produced Mechanisms That Lead Toward Concentration

 June 2017

“No Convincing Evidence That Concentration Has Been a Major Factor in Explaining Poor U.S. Economic Performance”

 March 2017

Economists: “Totality of Evidence” Underscores Concentration Problem in the U.S.

“I Suspect the Major Reason for the Rise in Concentration Is Technological Change, Particularly in IT”

“The Increase in Common Ownership Corresponds to the Concentration Increase That Several Large Mergers Would Create”

Worried About Concentration? Then Worry About Rent-Seeking

“There Is Unambiguous Evidence That Concentration Is on the Rise and Widespread Over Most Industries”

A Second Gilded Age: The Consolidation of Wealth and Corporate Power

AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY

JUNE 16, 2017