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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Mapping Heat in the U.S. Financial System
David Aikman
Michael T. Kiley
Seung Jung Lee
Michael G. Palumbo
Missaka Warusawitharana
Abstract

We provide a framework for assessing the build-up of vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system. We collect forty-four indicators of financial and balance-sheet conditions, cutting across measures of valuation pressures, nonfinancial borrowing, and financial-sector health. We place the data in economic categories, track their evolution, and develop an algorithmic approach to monitoring vulnerabilities that can complement the more judgmental approach of most official-sector organizations. Our approach picks up rising imbalances in the U.S. financial system through the mid-2000s, presaging the financial crisis. We also highlight several statistical properties of our approach: most importantly, our summary measures of system-wide vulnerabilities lead the credit-to-GDP gap (a key gauge in Basel III and related research) by a year or more. Thus, our framework may provide useful information for setting macroprudential policy tools such as the countercyclical capital buffer.


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Download http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2015.059
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David Aikman & Michael T. Kiley & Seung Jung Lee & Michael G. Palumbo & Missaka Warusawitharana, Mapping Heat in the U.S. Financial System, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-59, 24 Jun 2015.
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Keywords: Early warning system; financial crisis; financial stability; financial vulnerabilities; heat maps; macroprudential policy; systemic risk; data visualization; countercyclical capital buffers
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