Liquidity And Its Effects On Asset Prices Finance Essay


In September 1996, Staples and Office Depot, two of the largest office supply superstores in United States announced their programs to unify together their ironss of shops. Office Depot had 571 North American mercantile establishments and basics had 553 superstores in 100 U.S markets so their combined operations would transcend 1100 shops and generate over $ 10 billion in gross.

The amalgamation proclamation between the two intense rivals raised immediate intuitions of ruling market power. Many feared that the nearest rival Office Max would be left in the ashcan. Supplier, rivals and clients filed remarks of concern with the Federal Trade Commission. In response, On March 10, the FTC authorized its staff to seek a federal territory tribunal order to forestall Staples from geting Office Depot. The FTC argued in tribunal that the Staples/Office Depot amalgamation would go against federal antimonopoly Torahs by well cut downing competition in the retail sale of office supply superstores in assorted markets throughout the state where each house straight competes against each other. FTC research determined that there were higher retail monetary values for office supplies in markets where there was high industry concentration of office supply shops, and lower monetary values in markets where there was lower industry concentration. Furthermore, in entertained a much narrower definition of the market. Staples and Office Depot claimed that they were in competition non merely with traditional office supply shops, but besides with other big mercantile establishments such as Wal-Mart, and Circuit City who besides sold office machines, paper, pens and pencils. In contrast FTC took a different position of the market, as “ one-stop store ” office supply shops. In this narrower market definition, the merged company would hold 70 per centum market portion.

In Staples the FTC applied new economic theory and introduced a new type of grounds.[ 1 ]The instance has been described as the “ biggest litigated antimonopoly instance in a decennary ”[ 2 ]and “ the most controversial and well-contested amalgamation instance in decennaries. ”[ 3 ]An antimonopoly expert declared “ Had the FTC lost, it would hold been in awful problem, because in the hereafter many more confluent parties would hold felt it worth their piece to take the FTC on. Alternatively, unifying parties are more likely to be willing to negociate consent edicts. ”[ 4 ]Crucial to the FTC ‘s instance was informations demoing that in markets where Staples was the lone office supply superstore ( OSS ) house, monetary values were higher than in markets where it competed against Office Depot and Office Max. Monetary values in Staples-only markets were 13 % higher than in three-firm markets.[ 5 ]Similarly, monetary values in Office Depot-only markets were 5 % higher than in three-firm markets.[ 6 ]The FTC ‘s successful challenge of the Staples-Office Depot amalgamation is one of the most of import antimonopoly instances in recent old ages. One of the _______ describes the instance of Staples versus Staples as below:

“ The statement about anticompetitive consequence in Staples turned on a individual overpowering fact: monetary values of office supplies could be shown on norm to be well higher in metropoliss where merely one office supply ace shop concatenation was located than where two super shop ironss competed, and even higher than in metropoliss where the three super shop ironss all faced each other in the market topographic point. ”

Robert Pitofsky ( 1997 )

In response to FTC statements, the Staples suspects argued that higher monetary values in one-firm markets could ensue from a “ host of factors other than superstore competition. “ 11 They estimated a fixed-effects arrested development theoretical account which tried to keep these other factors constant. It indicated that monetary values would worsen following the amalgamation. In add-on, Thomas Sternburg, laminitis and CEO of Staples, said that office merchandises are sold in a disconnected $ 18 billion market in which the merged house would hold a meager 6 per centum market portion. Furthermore, with larger operations the new company would accomplish efficiencies, extinguish redundancies, and develop greater purchasing power with their providers. In combination these would take to monetary value decreases and bigger salvaging for both concern and single clients. Staples and Office Depot placed ads in major newspapers around the United States.

This paper will continue as follows. In 2nd portion we will present a brief drumhead on Office Depot and Staples ‘company profiles and their concern context as the largest ironss in the office supply superstores market. In Section II we will sum up the narration of the

Staples-Office Depot proposed amalgamation and its legal outcome.2 In Section III we will depict the

UP-SP amalgamation and its outcome.3 And Section IV will offer a brief decision

2. Case Background

Prior to 1986, little concern and place office clients purchased office supplies chiefly through little independent stationers, warehouse nines and mail order houses. The “ office super shop ” ( OSS ) retail construct was pioneered by Staples in 1986, as a big volume retail mercantile establishment for office supplies and other business-related merchandises that focused on little land moderate-sized concerns, place office clients, and persons. Merely the office supply superstores offered “ one-stop shopping ” supplying an stock list, comprehensiveness of merchandises and convenience non available elsewhere, including other retail merchants like BestBuy, Wal-Mart, Target, computing machine shops and independent stationers. The scheme of OSS involved a broad choice of points ( 5,000-6,000 in a shop ) and aggressively discounted monetary values ( typically 30 % -70 % below makers ‘ suggested list monetary values ) , based on direct-from-the-manufacturer purchases at significant price reductions. Monetary values at OSSs were frequently well below the monetary values for the same points that were being sold in local letter paper shops and other mercantile establishments. Office Depot rapidly followed Staples into the OSS class. This retail construct proved to be a great success. Both ironss expanded quickly. When th amalgamation of the two houses was proposed, Office Depot and Staples were the first and 2nd largest ironss of OSSs in the U.S. As of 1997 ( when the instance went to test ) Office Depot operated over 500 shops in 38 provinces ; it had worldwide grosss in 1996 of $ 7.3 billion and a 1996 year-end stock market value of $ 2.2 billion. Basics operated 550 shops in 28 provinces ; it had worldwide grosss in 1996 of $ 4.5 billion, and a stock-market rating of about $ 3 billion at year-end 1996.

In the decennary following Staples ‘ invention, 23 other OSS ironss attempted to retroflex these two ironss ‘ success. By late 1996, merely Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax remained strong OSS rivals. Office1Superstore, the lone other OSS concatenation, was little and on the brink of go outing the market. Although the three staying OSS challengers each had strong regional places, they were get downing to spread out into each other ‘s districts as the ironss were turning quickly. Staples and Office Depot competed straight in more than 40 metropolitan countries.

On September 4, 1996, Staples and Office Depot announced their program to unify. At that clip, each had about 500 shops and their combined one-year gross revenues exceeded $ 10 billion. In April 1997, the Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) voted to oppose the dealing. In its ailment, the FTC alleged a merchandise market consisting of “ consumable office supplies sold through office supply superstores, ” and identified 42 single geographic markets in which it anticipated consumer injury ensuing from the amalgamation. Consumable office supplies, defined as those points repeatedly purchased by consumers ( and therefore rapidly consumed ) , history for merely 50 % of OSS gross. The balance of OSS gross arises from concern services, office furniture and computing machine gross revenues. While Staples and Office Depot argued that all merchandises sold by their shops should be included in the merchandise market, the informations used by both the suspect and the authorities in the pricing surveies described in this essay contained information about consumable office supplies merely.

The FTC won a preliminary injunction against the amalgamation in US District Court in June 1997. Subsequently, Staples and Office Depot abandoned the proposed dealing.

hypertext transfer protocol: // abstract_id=139625 decision


Staples, Inc. is one of the universe ‘s largest office superstore operators with about 780 shops as of mid-1998. The company sells a assortment of office supplies, computing machines and other office machines, and office furniture. The typical Staples shop stocks over 8,000 brand-name and private-label office merchandises. It offers these merchandises at a price reduction monetary value and besides warrants to pay a client 150 per centum of the difference if a rival sells the merchandise at a lower monetary value.

Basics competes with a assortment of price reduction office supply shops, warehouse nines, single letter paper shops, mail order ironss, and consumer electronics ironss. Half of its 30,000 employees work half-time. For its financial twelvemonth that ended on January 31, 1998, Staples had gross revenues of over $ 5 billion, an addition of 31 per centum over the old twelvemonth.

The index hypertext transfer protocol: // id=okm5eTc2ILEC & A ; pg=PA65 & A ; dq=staples+FTC+office+depot & A ; cd=3 # v=onepage & A ; q=staples % 20FTC % 20office % 20depot & A ; f=false

hypertext transfer protocol: // id=-YoouhgqxFMC & A ; pg=PA26 & A ; dq=staples+FTC+office+depot & A ; cd=7 # v=onepage & A ; q=staples % 20FTC % 20office % 20depot & A ; f=false – Federal trade commission instance

hypertext transfer protocol: // id=Rz2ty2s6fb8C & A ; pg=PA155 & A ; dq=staples+FTC+office+depot & A ; cd=8 # v=onepage & A ; q=staples % 20FTC % 20office % 20depot & A ; f=false BEGIN


The first portion of the paper is dedicated to the reappraisal of old studies related with liquidness and plus pricing. We will go on in the 2nd portion by raising hypothesis and utilizing empirical consequences of the paper discussed in the old portion in order to formalize the findings. Meanwhile, the last portion refers to the methodological analysis used to execute the empirical trials.

2. Review of anterior research

There is a immense and spread outing literature sing liquidness. The paper will analyze the literature that links liquidness with plus pricing. The reappraisal will be based in the surveies of different researches using their quantitative attacks and consequences on the relevant subject. Below we provide brief sum-ups of the chief documents within the literature concentrating on both theoretical and empirical findings. We will be focused in different attacks toward the of import influence of liquidness on plus pricing.

Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986, 2002, 2005 )

In the paper of Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986 ) we find a development of a theoretical account that relates positively the returns to the comparative spread ( command ask spread divided by monetary value ) at a diminishing rate ( a concave relationship ) . The writers through empirical observation test the deductions of their theoretical theoretical account utilizing a CAPM model by back uping their consequence on the use of the information of spreads and stock returns from the NYSE and AMEX over the period 1961-1980.

In separate arrested developments they find a additive relationship between the expected return and beta and happen the relationship between extra returns and comparative spread to be concave. The chief consequence of the paper is that expected plus returns are positively related to the comparative bid-ask spread.

In this theoretical account, hazard impersonal investors are assumed to hold different keeping periods and limited capital. These premises introduce a clientele consequence into the solution where investors with long keeping periods choice stocks with high trading costs. The needed return will so differ for different categories of investors, and the expected gross return becomes an increasing and concave map of the comparative dealing cost.

Summarizing up, harmonizing to Amihud & A ; Mendelson findings:

Asset with higher dealing costs are allocated to agents with longer investings skylines.

The expected return E ( R ) is an increasing and concave map of dealing costs.

The above imply that the liquid assets are allocated to agents with short investing skylines. These agents earn lower returns since they are the least capable of covering with illiquidity.

Baks & A ; Kramer ( 1999 )

Another attack toward the important impact of liquidness on plus monetary values has been presented in the on the job paper of Baks & A ; Kramer ( 1999 ) sing the planetary liquidness and plus monetary values. The writers assess the empirical consequence of planetary liquidness on plus pricing through cross state spillover. By roll uping the information on money and plus returns for different states ( G-7 ) for the period 1971 – 1998, they try to give an overview of the importance of liquidness for plus returns at an international degree. The paper identifies two constructs of liquidness, market liquidness which refers to the ability of fiscal markets to absorb the fluctuation in demand and supply without disruption in monetary values and pecuniary liquidness which refers to short term involvement rates. The theoretical account calculates three steps of liquidness: leaden growing rate series ( liquidness is weighted by each state ‘s GDP ) , simple sum US dollar sum and Divisia indices of planetary liquidness which uses narrow and wide money. Based on 3 collection methods extra money growing variables are constructed by deducting the mean growing rate of nominal GDP. Besides construct ex-country ( ROW ) indices where one of the G3 states is excluded. Narrow money is found to hold a stronger relationship to plus monetary values than wide money as do Divisia and simple amount steps.

The chief determination of the survey is that there is a negative correlativity between involvement rates and liquidness significance that an addition in liquidness is consistent with lower involvement rates. Furthermore, liquidness is positively correlated with stock return significance that an addition in liquidness is consistent with higher stock returns. Other consequence was found sing the spillovers from the volatility of liquidness to the volatility of plus returns across states. In add-on, liquidness may do rising prices if demand additions for a fixed supply of assets and a flourishing economic system may take to both increased liquidness and to a rise in plus monetary values.

Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 )

As reference above, when concentrating on the stock market, Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986 ) show that because investors are rational they prefer liquid stocks that can be traded instantly at lower costs. For this ground, the expected return is higher for illiquid stocks comparing with the expected return of liquid stocks. Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 ) present a continuous-time theoretical account that investigates the impact of liquidness on bond monetary values. The benefit of concentrating merely on bonds gives the possibility of look intoing bond market as a hazard free market, while the stock market reflects beside liquidness, besides the hazard. Furthermore, the consequences on the impacts of liquidness will be separated from the 1s on the impact of hazard.

The theoretical account is tested utilizing 1992-1994 informations from bonds issued by the German authorities. The empirical consequences show that bond monetary values non merely depend on involvement rates, but besides on the liquidness of bonds. Hence, bond liquidness should be used as an extra pricing factor. The part of this paper is in the pricing of illiquid bonds relative to liquid 1s. The empirical consequences suggest about the importance of liquidness in finding the bond monetary values and that bond liquidness should be used as a pricing factor. We will utilize the empirical attack of Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 ) to execute a joint hypothesis proving about the monetary values of liquid and illiquid bonds.

Acharya & A ; Pedersen ( 2004 )

The paper of Acharya & A ; Pedersen ( 2004 ) introduces a theoretical model of a liquidness – adjusted capital plus pricing theoretical account. The theoretical account shows that the needed return of an plus depends on its liquidness and besides on the covariance of its ain returns and liquidness with market return and market liquidness. More specifically, the expected return of the plus increases with the addition of illiquidity. The paper explores transverse sectional anticipations utilizing AMEX and NYSE stocks over a period of 30 old ages. The chief determination of the research is that the liquidness – adjusted capital plus pricing theoretical account stands better than the standard capital plus pricing theoretical account. The consequences are proven in footings of squared-R ( correlativity coefficient ) for cross sectional returns and p-values in specification trials ( demoing higher significance ) . Furthermore, the paper presents non merely how monetary values are affected by liquidness but besides the commonalty of liquidness.

Bekaert, Campbell & A ; Lundblad ( 2007 )

The paper examines the influence of liquidness on expected returns in emerging equity markets where liquidness appears to be a important factor. Bekaert, Campbell & A ; Lundblad ( 2007 ) proposes a step of liquidness which is positively correlated with bid-ask spreads and negatively correlated with equity market turnover. The chief determination of the paper is that unexpected liquidness dazes are positively correlated with returns and negatively correlated with dividend outputs. The empirical consequences suggest that local market liquidness is a important driver of expected returns in emerging markets, and that the liberalisation procedure has non eliminated its impact. The writers besides propose a pricing theoretical account that distinguishes the ways through which liquidness can impact expected returns. One refers to the dealing costs and the other to the liquidness as a systematic hazard factor.

3. Hypothesis – Research inquiries

In this portion we will pull some hypothesis and will seek to turn out their cogency by utilizing old empirical trials. The first hypothesis will give us the replies about the relationship between liquidness and plus monetary values and its importance as an indispensable determiner in the plus pricing. The 2nd hypothesis is non of less involvement. As discussed above, bond liquidness is examined individually because it gives us the chance to analyze the liquidness in a free hazard market – bond market. We consider as of import to prove the relation between liquidness and illiquidity monetary value bonds.

The first hypothesis sheds light on the cardinal inquiry of the subject:

Does liquidness explicate the plus monetary values? Does it do a important factor that should be included when finding plus pricing?

If we think of the relationship between liquidness and plus monetary values, our intimation tells us that they are related negatively with each other. In order to verify our intimation we will utilize the empirical grounds of Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986 ) . This study develops an empirical theoretical account to prove whether liquidness influences plus pricing. We can utilize these consequences to turn out our hypothesis and pull the concluding decision.

In the first portion of the theoretical account, the writers focus in the relationship between illiquidity and return which is determined to be increasing and concave. As a consequence, the return additions by less and less as the plus becomes more liquid. The literature presents different possible relationship between liquidness and plus monetary values. First, an addition in liquidness is followed by an addition in plus monetary values. Second, liquidness can increase the rising prices in plus monetary values if extra liquidness causes an addition in the demand for a fixed supply of assets. Third, the diminution in involvement rates caused by an addition in liquidness leads to an addition in equity monetary values by cut downing the price reduction factors that monetary value hereafter hard currency flows. The consequences show a nexus between expected return and command – ask spread and besides between expected return and turnover ( reflecting keeping period distances ) . Since expected returns are a diminishing map of liquidness, investors must be compensated for higher trading costs that they bear in less liquid markets. Amihud & A ; Mendelson find a significantly positive relation between expected returns and the bid-ask spread for NYSE and AMEX stocks during 1961-80 periods. The mean portfolio risk-adjusted returns addition when the bid-ask spread additions. In the same manner, Amihud ( 2002 ) argues that expected stock returns partially represent an illiquidity premium and it besides shows that stock returns are an increasing map of illiquidity.

We can screen many effects of liquidness in fiscal markets. Based on the empirical paper of Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986 ) liquidness explains the cross subdivision of assets with different liquidness after taking in consideration the hazard and the correlativity between liquidness and plus returns. Liquidity explains why some assets that are hard to be traded have lower monetary values and besides it explains the monetary value of bonds and stocks. Furthermore, liquidness explains the hazard free mystifier ( the lower the hazard the lower the needed return of the plus ) , the equity premium mystifier ( equity require higher return ) and the little house consequence ( little illiquid houses have higher returns ) .

Summarizing up, based on the above we can pull some concluding consequences. Asset returns depend on liquidness and their relationship appears to be increasing and concave which implies that the return is higher if the plus is less liquid. Liquidity is a important factor that determines plus pricing and it is really of import to include it as a pricing factor. Finally, we conclude that there is positive liquidness premium on stock returns.

Another trial of great involvement and importance would be the below one:

Are liquidity bond monetary values equal to illiquidity 1s?

We will see as void hypothesis “ Ho: liquidness bond monetary values equal to illiquidity bond monetary values ” and as alternate the hypothesis “ Ha: liquidness bond monetary values are higher than illiquidity 1s ” . Failure to reject the void hypothesis which defines liquid and illiquid bonds holding the same monetary value proves our void hypothesis. In order to formalize this we will utilize the empirical consequences of Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 ) . The paper tests the joint hypothesis by utilizing a t statistical trial. In add-on, it uses merely liquid bonds to gauge the term construction of involvement rates that explain ascertained monetary values of liquid voucher bonds with a really low mean absolute pricing mistake. Meanwhile, the price reduction factors are found utilizing a quadratic linear programming attack to find a distinct price reduction map. The consequences confirm a really important T value which supports the alternate hypothesis, therefore the void hypothesis is rejected. Concluding, the illiquid bonds have a higher monetary value than liquid bonds.

4. Methodology

Amihud & A ; Mendelson

The theoretical account Amihud & A ; Mendelson ( 1986 ) performs a cross subdivision analysis on AMEX and NYSE stock during 1960 – 1980. In order to prove the relationship between the illiquidity and return they divide the stocks by their command – ask spread, which is a step of their illiquidity. Than, the writers perform a cross sectional appraisal of the mean return on each portfolio as a map of the bid-ask spread every bit good as of house size and the unsystematic volatility. The consequence showed that the mean portfolio return was significantly higher for stocks with higher spread. Furthermore, the map was increasing and concave, as predicted by the theoretical account.

The empirical appraisal theoretical account Amihud ( 2002 ) employs a step of illiquidity that calculates it from day-to-day returns and volume of AMEX and NYSE stocks for the period 1964-1999. Stockss are sorted every twelvemonth by their illiquidity and grouped in portfolios. The monthly illiquidity for each portfolio is calculated as the remainder from the autoregressive of the portfolio illiquidity.

Baks & A ; Kramer ( 1999 )

The theoretical account presented utilizations chief constituents analysis and first chief constituent which has high explanatory power for all single state growing rates. There are appraisals of several relationships, from simple correlativities to arrested developments and trial of Granger causality. The consequences indicated negative correlativity with involvement rates and positive correlativity with stock returns. The writers run different arrested developments to look into for the direct effects in plus returns and rising prices. For cross-country pecuniary spillovers they use ROW indices and GARCH theoretical account. The grounds appears consistent with a “ push ” channel instead than the “ pull ” channel. And in order to prove the indirect effects they use Granger causality trials.

Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 )

Kempf & A ; Uhrig-Homburg ( 2000 ) introduces a theoretical continuous-time rating model that analyzes the influence of liquidness on bond monetary values. In the survey are used 1992-1994 informations from bonds issued by the German authorities. These bonds represent a market section that is homogenous in bankruptcy hazard, revenue enhancements, age, and vouchers, but the bonds differ with regard to their liquidness. The theoretical account monetary values fixed income securities within a two-factor Cox/Ingersoll/Ross-type theoretical account[ 7 ]which refer to the factors are the short-run involvement rate and a 2nd exogenic factor that accounts for the liquidness of assets. The study includes two stochastic factors, the instantaneous hazard free rate of a liquid investing and an unspecified factor that accounts for the monetary value differences between liquid and illiquid bonds. Furthermore, in order to back up the proposed theoretical account by empirical cogency, the paper uses a two-step attack: in – sample trial and out-of sample trial.

Acharya & A ; Pedersen ( 2007 )

Acharya & A ; Pedersen ( 2007 ) surveies a wide theoretical account of pricing liquidness hazard and liquidness degree. The writers put the expected return over hazard rate as a map of illiquidity and gauge four systematic hazard variables. The theoretical account identifies a positive market liquidness premium, when it adopts Amihud ‘s ( 2002 ) market liquidness step. Furthermore, in the paper are performed many trials of the liquidity-adjusted CAPM. The Wald trial and p-value are estimated, and their values are of a great significance which determines that the liquidity-adjusted CAPM explains the informations better than the standard CAPM.

Bekaert, Campbell & A ; Lundblad ( 2007 )

Bekaert, Campbell & A ; Lundblad ( 2007 ) surveies the clip series liquidity-expected return relationship utilizing informations from 19 emerging markets and US that proxies the universe index. The kineticss of returns and liquidness are analyzed by utilizing assorted vector autoregressions ( VAR ) . The theoretical account estimates liquidness by utilizing steps that rely on the incidence of ascertained zero day-to-day returns in these markets. The advantage of this step is that it requires merely a clip series of day-to-day equity returns. In add-on, they impose cross-country limitations on the parametric quantity infinite when analyzing the kineticss of expected returns and liquidness. The paper introduces three steps of liquidness, one that refers to the proportion of zero day-to-day returns which is extremely correlated with more traditional steps of dealing costs and the 2nd includes information about the length of the non-trading interval.