Yakov Amihud, Markus M. Schmid & Steven Davidoff Solomon, Do Staggered Boards Affect Firm Value?, — Iowa Law Review — (forthcoming 2017)

We attempt to resolve conflicting empirical results in studies on the wealth effects of staggered boards by addressing issues of endogeneity, omitted variable bias and functional form. In a sample of up to 2,961 firms from 1990 to 2013 we find that additional variables provide significant explanatory power for the (negative) wealth effects of staggered firms found in prior studies, and their inclusion makes the effect of a staggered board on firm value insignificant. When we control for endogeneity by the instrumental variable method, we find again that the staggered board has no significant effect on firm value. Our results suggest caution about legal solutions which advocate wholesale adoption or repeal of the staggered board and instead evidence an individualized firm approach, and provide some measure of skepticism for law-related corporate governance proposals generally.

The Economist, Digitisation shakes up corporate-bond markets

Today shares and many derivatives can be traded with a few simple clicks (or even in fully automated fashion, using algorithms). But buying and selling bonds, especially corporate bonds, is still an old-fashioned business. Over four-fifths of trading in American corporate bonds still takes place with a dealer, usually over the phone.

One new source of liquidity has come from exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Shares in bond ETFs, like those composed of equities, track indices, allowing investors access to a basket of bonds. But the impact for bonds is more significant, because bonds are otherwise traded so rarely. Indeed, bond ETFs are more liquid than the assets the funds own. But ETFs still need dealers: the institutional investors that create and redeem ETF shares have so far had to rely either on voice-trading or RFQ systems.