Many financial assets, especially government bonds, are issued by an auction. An important feature of the design is the auction pricing mechanism: uniform versus discriminatory. Theoretical papers do not provide a definite answer regarding the dominance of one type of auction over the other. We investigate the revealed preferences of the issuers by surveying the sovereign issuers that conduct auctions. We find that the majority of the issuers/countries in our sample use a discriminatory auction mechanism for issuing government debt. We use a multinomial logit procedure and discriminatory analysis to investigate the mechanism choice. It was interesting to find that market-oriented economies and those that practice common law tend to use a uniform method while economies who are less market oriented and practice civil law tend to use discriminatory price auctions.
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To finance the public debt, the U.S. Treasury sells bills, notes, bonds, Floating Rate Notes (FRNs), and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to institutional and individual investors through public auctions. Treasury auctions occur regularly and have a set schedule. There are three steps to an auction: announcement of the auction, bidding, and issuance of the purchased securities.
Private treaty sales – Occasionally, when looking at an auction catalogue some of the items have been withdrawn. Usually these goods have been sold by 'private treaty'. This means that the goods have already been sold off, usually to a trader or dealer on a private, behind-the-scenes basis before they have had a chance to be offered at the auction sale. These goods are rarely in single lots – photocopiers or fax machines would generally be sold in bulk lots.
Bidder acknowledges that an auction site is a potentially dangerous place. Flammable, noxious, corrosive and pressurized substances are present, heavy equipment is being operated and electric circuits may be live. Every person at the auction site, at any time, shall be there at his own risk without notice of the condition of the premises and the activities thereon and bidder shall so advise his agents and employees. No person shall have any claim against Auctioneer, its officers, directors, agents, employees, principals, or attorneys for any injuries sustained, nor for damages to or loss of property, which may occur from any cause whatsoever.
No-reserve auction (NR), also known as an absolute auction, is an auction in which the item for sale will be sold regardless of price. From the seller's perspective, advertising an auction as having no reserve price can be desirable because it potentially attracts a greater number of bidders due to the possibility of a bargain. If more bidders attend the auction, a higher price might ultimately be achieved because of heightened competition from bidders. This contrasts with a reserve auction, where the item for sale may not be sold if the final bid is not high enough to satisfy the seller. In practice, an auction advertised as "absolute" or "no-reserve" may nonetheless still not sell to the highest bidder on the day, for example, if the seller withdraws the item from the auction or extends the auction period indefinitely, although these practices may be restricted by law in some jurisdictions or under the terms of sale available from the auctioneer.
Whenever bidders at an auction are aware of the identity of the other bidders there is a risk that they will form a "ring" or "pool" and thus manipulate the auction result, a practice known as collusion. By agreeing to bid only against outsiders, never against members of the "ring", competition becomes weaker, which may dramatically affect the final price level. After the end of the official auction an unofficial auction may take place among the "ring" members. The difference in price between the two auctions could then be split among the members. This form of a ring was used as a central plot device in the opening episode of the 1979 British television series The House of Caradus, 'For Love or Money', uncovered by Helena Caradus on her return from Paris.