Boyarchenko, Nina Eisenbach, Thomas M. Gupta, Pooja Shachar, Or Van Tassel, Peter
Year of Publication:
Staff Report No. 858
We argue that post-crisis bank regulation can explain large, persistent deviations from parity on basis trades requiring leverage. Documenting the financing cost and balance sheet impact on a broad array of basis trades for regulated institutions, we show that the implied return on equity on such trades is considerably lower under post-crisis regulation. In addition, although hedge funds would serve as natural alternative arbitrageurs, we document that funds reliant on leverage from a global systemically important bank suffer significant declines in assets and returns relative to unlevered funds. Thus, post-crisis regulation not only affects the targeted banks directly but also spills over to unregulated firms that rely on bank intermediation for their arbitrage strategies.