DP17192 The Savings of Corporate Giants

Author(s): Olivier Darmouni, Lira Mota
Publication Date: April 2022
Keyword(s): corporate bonds, corporate cash, Liquidity management, repatriation tax, Superstar Firms
JEL(s):
Programme Areas: Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=17192

We construct a novel panel dataset to provide new evidence on how the largest nonfinancial firms manage their financial assets. Our granular data shows that, over the past decade, bond portfolios have grown to be at least as large as cash-like instruments, driven by the meteoric rise of corporate bond holdings. To shed light on the drivers of this growth, we conduct a pair of event studies around the 2017 tax reform and the 2020 liquidity crisis. Our new data suggests that the financial portfolios of corporate giants are primarily driven by cross-border tax incentives rather than liquidity motives.