The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
This paper examines the relationship between the amount of information disclosed by bank holding companies (BHCs) and their subsequent risk-adjusted performance. Using data from the annual reports of BHCs with large trading operations, we construct an index of publicly disclosed information about the BHCs’ forward-looking estimates of market risk exposure in their trading and market-making activities. The paper then examines the relationship between this index and subsequent risk-adjusted returns in the BHCs’ trading activities and for the firm overall. The key finding is that more disclosure is associated with higher risk-adjusted returns. This result is strongest for BHCs where trading represents a large share of overall firm activity. More disclosure does not appear to be associated with higher risk-adjusted performance during the financial crisis, however, suggesting that the findings are a “business as usual” phenomenon. These findings suggest that greater disclosure is associated with more efficient risk-taking and thus improved risk-return tradeoffs, a channel for market discipline that has not been emphasized previously in the literature.