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International Financial Linkages. ECB-CFS workshop on “Capital Markets and Financial Integration in Europe” Bank of Finland, March 12, 2003. K. Geert Rouwenhorst Yale School of Management. Henry Lowenfeld, 1909.

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International Financial Linkages


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    1. International Financial Linkages ECB-CFS workshop on “Capital Markets and Financial Integration in Europe” Bank of Finland, March 12, 2003 K. Geert Rouwenhorst Yale School of Management

    2. Henry Lowenfeld, 1909 “It is significant to see how entirely all the rest of the Geographically Distributed stocks differ in their price movements from the British stock. It is this individuality of movement on the part of each security, included in a well-distributed Investment List, which ensures the first great essential of successful investment, namely, Capital Stability.” From: Investment and Exact Science, 1909.

    3. History of Diversification • First Mutual Fund: Eendracht Maakt Magt (1774) • Danish and Viennese banks • Danish Tolls and Holstein • Russia and Sweden • Brunswick and Mecklenburg • Postal services of Saxony • Spanish Canals of Taouste and Imperial • British Colonies • Essequebo • Berbice • Danish American Islands

    4. Diversification: 18th Century Mutual Funds • In the portfolio construction the fund “will observe as much as possible an equal proportionality” • “Because nothing is completely certain, but subject to fluctuations, it is dangerous to allocate all capital to a single security” • “Nobody will have reason to believe that all securities will stop paying off at the same time thereby losing the entire invested capital”

    5. Globalization and Financial Linkages • Common wisdom is that globalization and integration of markets accentuates financial linkages (correlations) • Business cycle synchronization • Policy coordination • Coordination of institutions • Decrease in “home bias” of investors • Globalization of firms • Globalization and integration also allows country specialization

    6. Globalization and Financial Linkages • Expansion of investment opportunities • Lowering of transactions costs • Trade where costs are lowest • Competition among exchanges • Cross-listing / depository receipts / global shares • Cost of capital / Expected returns • Change in covariance structure of returns affecting portfolio risk / benefits of diversification

    7. What is the overall effect? • Decrease in expected returns • Higher correlation between asset markets • More markets for investment • Increase in the types of marketed securities • Potential synchronization of business cycles • Increased policy coordination Net effect?

    8. Average Correlation US UK Germany France

    9. The Role of Emerging Markets • Expand the investment opportunity set • Are imperfectly correlated with existing markets • What is the relative contribution of changing correlations and evolution in the investment opportunity set for diversification benefits?

    10. Globalization: How do Correlations Change? • Does location of a firm matter? • Industry membership may become more important • What happens to residual risk?

    11. European Equity Markets • Increased industry importance • Countries become less important • Why does it still matter? • Residual risk is increasing: cost of not being diversified is going up

    12. Global Linkages of Other Markets • Bond markets • Interest rate correlations have increased in Europe before EMU • Reduction of Bond market diversification • Real estate markets • Non-tradable goods • But linked through • business cycle correlations • Interest rate correlations • exchange rate correlations

    13. International Financial Linkages- Summary - • There is reason to believe that international financial linkages are becoming stronger. • World is not yet a global place • Expansion of investment opportunity set should give some compensation for investors who seek diversification • Number of markets • Expansion of tradable assets: new markets / securities