The Value of Real and Financial Risk Management

We characterize a firm as a nexus of activities and projects with their associated cashflows. Production and operations activities and real risk management activities distribute cashflows over states of nature and time periods, leading to a transformation possibility frontier similar to a production function. The concavity of the frontier induces a firm to react more or less to changes in market prices of risks to attain the new value maximizing portfolio of real activities. Financial risk management helps implement these real project changes and alleviate the related reorganization and coordination problems. Empirically, we show that a firm's reactiveness to variations in risk prices is linked to its hedging activities. We also argue that financial risk management allows a firm to meet cashflow-at-risk or value-at-risk constraints at little or no cost.
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