We propose a mechanism explaining the recent high positive correlation between cryptocurrencies and the stock market. With a unique dataset of investor-level holdings from a bank offering trading accounts and cryptocurrency wallets, we show that retail investors’ net trading volumes of stocks and cryptocurrencies are positively correlated. Theoretically, this micro-level pattern translates into a cross-asset class correlation as long as the two markets are not fully integrated. We provide suggestive evidence showing that this micro-level pattern emerged in March 2020 and that stocks preferred by crypto-traders exhibit a stronger correlation with Bitcoin, especially when the cross asset retail volume is high.
In the press: Crypto: confirmed casino, Financial Times - Alphaville, Alexandra Scaggs, 11/07/2022 [link]
CBDC and Banks: Threat or Subsidy? (2022), with M. Fraschini
A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would provide households with a superior payment technology, but it would also reduce bank deposits. We develop a structural model of the banking sector, calibrate it, and introduce a CBDC to run counterfactual analyses. We find that banks have limited ability to compensate for the reduction in funding, and that channelling funds back to the banking sector would reduce this negative impact. Nevertheless, we find that banks would exploit this new funding channel to capture part of the consumer surplus stemming from technological innovation.
We study how the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) interacts with ongoing monetary policies. We distinguish two policies: standard policy, where the central bank holds treasuries, and quantitative easing, where the central bank holds risky securities. In each scenario, we introduce an interest-bearing CBDC, and study the equilibrium allocations. We reach three main conclusions. First, the equilibrium impact of a CBDC depends on the ongoing monetary policy. Second, when the central bank conducts quantitative easing, the introduction of a CBDC is neutral under two conditions: the cost of issuing a CBDC is equal to the interest on reserves, and the demand for CBDC deposits is smaller than the amount of excess reserves in the system. Third, the introduction of a CBDC might render quantitative easing a quasi-permanent policy, as commercial banks optimally use their excess reserves to accommodate retailers' demand for switching from bank to CBDC deposits.
Presentations: AEA/ASSA 2022 (poster), 14th Financial Risks International Forum, Swiss Finance Institute Research Days 2021, GFRI University of Geneva
Finalist for the 2022 ECB Young Economist Prize
In the press: CBDCs must be coupled with greater accountability, Financial Times - Alphaville, 02/07/2021 [link]
In recent years, governments have allocated increasing capital to direct startup funding through Government-sponsored Venture Capital funds (GVC). In this paper, we study the role of GVCs in the venture capital market and their relationship with Private Venture Capitalists (PVC). Using European data, we find that GVCs invest consistently with their policy mandates, favoring specific industries, geographical areas, and firms with high innovation potential, but have lower average performances. These findings indicate that GVCs can identify innovative companies and prioritize positive externalities over profit maximization. We build an asset pricing model with heterogeneous preferences to study the role of GVCs in catalyzing PVC investments. We find that PVCs invest less in startups previously funded by GVCs, in line with empirical evidence. At aggregate level, GVC investments can crowd-in private ones if they focus on startups in VC hubs.
We document abnormal correlations between the performance of hedge funds' managers with an elite socio-economic background. In particular, Columbia, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and NYU alumni are highly correlated among themselves. We take steps toward linking this phenomenon to a shared information pool with a quasi-natural experiment: the 2009 Galleon Capital insider trading scandal. The difference-in-difference analysis shows a significant reduction in returns of the elite managers following the scandal. Finally, we present evidences suggesting that investors recognize this pool's value, as funds with access to elite information are associated with 55\% higher assets under management at launch.