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Princeton Lectures in Finance

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Dark Markets

Asset Pricing and Information Transmission in Over-the-Counter Markets

Darrell Duffie

Over-the-counter (OTC) markets for derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, and repurchase agreements played a significant role in the global financial crisis. Rather than being traded through a centralized institution such as a stock exchange, OTC trades are negotiated privately between market participants who may be unaware of prices that are currently available elsewhere in the market. In these relatively opaque markets, investors can be in the dark about the most attractive available terms and who might be offering them. This opaqueness exacerbated the financial crisis, as regulators and market participants were unable to quickly assess the risks and pricing of these instruments.

Dark Markets offers a concise introduction to OTC markets by explaining key conceptual issues and modeling techniques, and by providing readers with a foundation for more advanced subjects in this field. Darrell Duffie covers the basic methods for modeling search and random matching in economies with many agents. He gives an overview of asset pricing in OTC markets with symmetric and asymmetric information, showing how information percolates through these markets as investors encounter each other over time. This book also features appendixes containing methodologies supporting the more theory-oriented of the chapters, making this the most self-contained introduction to OTC markets available.

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Investors and Markets

Portfolio Choices, Asset Prices, and Investment Advice

William F. Sharpe

In Investors and Markets, Nobel Prize-winning financial economist William Sharpe shows that investment professionals cannot make good portfolio choices unless they understand the determinants of asset prices. But until now asset-price analysis has largely been inaccessible to everyone except PhDs in financial economics. In this book, Sharpe changes that by setting out his state-of-the-art approach to asset pricing in a nonmathematical form that will be comprehensible to a broad range of investment professionals, including investment advisors, money managers, and financial analysts. Bridging the gap between the best financial theory and investment practice, Investors and Markets will help investment professionals make better portfolio choices by being smarter about asset prices.

Based on Sharpe's Princeton Lectures in Finance, Investors and Markets presents a method of analyzing asset prices that accounts for the real behavior of investors. Sharpe makes this technique accessible through a new, one-of-a-kind computer program (available for free on his Web site, at http://www.stanford.edu/~wfsharpe/apsim/index.html) that enables users to create virtual markets, setting the starting conditions and then allowing trading until equilibrium is reached and trading stops. Program users can then analyze the final portfolios and asset prices, see expected returns, and measure risk.

In addition to popularizing the most sophisticated form of asset-price analysis, Investors and Markets summarizes much of Sharpe's most important previous work and reflects a lifetime of thinking about investing by one of the leading minds in financial economics. Any serious investment professional will benefit from Sharpe's unique insights.

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