Monetary Policy Expectations, Fund Managers, and Fund Returns: Evidence from China
Although many central banks in the 21st century have become more transparent, Chinese monetary policy communications have been relatively opaque, making it more difficult for financial market participants to make decisions that depend on the future path of interest rates. We conduct a novel systematic textual analysis of the discussion in the quarterly reports of China fund managers, from which we infer their near-term expectations for monetary policy. We construct an aggregate index of manager expectations and show that, as a forecast of Chinese monetary policy, it compares favorably with ...
Searching for Yield Abroad : Risk-Taking Through Foreign Investment in U.S. Bonds
The risk-taking effects of low interest rates, now prevailing in many advanced countries, "search-for-yield," can be hard to analyze due to both a paucity of data and challenges in identification. Unique, security-level data on portfolio investment into the United States allow us to overcome both problems. Analyzing holdings of investors from 36 countries in close to 15,000 unique U.S. corporate bonds between 2003 and 2016, we show that declining home-country interest rates lead investors to shift their portfolios toward riskier U.S. corporate bonds, consistent with "search-for-yield". We ...
Has international financial co-movement changed? Emerging markets in the 2007-2009 financial crisis
Emerging market (EM) assets have historically been regarded as inherently risky and particularly vulnerable to international shocks that result in a general increase in investor risk perceptions. In this paper, we assess the ongoing relevance of this view by examining the linkages between EM and non-EM stock and bond markets in the past two decades, with a focus on how these relationships played out during the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. We evaluate how these linkages have evolved over the period 1992-2009, through statistical tests of whether the volatility of EM financial markets ...
International Spillovers of Monetary Policy
This note presents a broad-brush overview of some of the salient issues on this topic and provides our sense of the answers to some key questions. We start by sketching out a simple framework for understanding how monetary policy actions spill over to other economies. The note then describes some back-of-the-envelope estimates of how U.S. monetary policy actions are transmitted overseas that we corroborate using a large-scale policy model (SIGMA). Finally, we discuss the implications of monetary policy spillovers for global economic stability, including the challenges posed by those ...
Inflation, inflation risk, and stock returns
This paper investigates the empirical relation between inflation and stock returns in ten industrialized countries, with a focus on the implications for links between inflation and the macroeconomy. The stock return decomposition of Campbell and Shiller (1988) is used to determine the extent to which the negative contemporaneous stock return associated with a positive inflation surprise is due to (a) lower future real dividends and (b) higher future required real equity returns. The empirical results suggest that generally higher inflation is associated with both lower real dividends and ...
How consistent are credit ratings? a geographic and sectoral analysis of default risk
We examine differences in default rates by sector and obligor domicile. We find evidence that credit ratings have been imperfectly calibrated across issuer sectors in the past. Controlling for year of issue and rating, default rates appear to be higher for U.S. financial firms than for U.S. industrial firms. Sectoral differences in recovery rates do not offset the higher default rates. By contrast, we do not find significant differences in default rates between U.S. and foreign firms.
Are banks market timers or market makers? Explaining foreign exchange trading profits
We analyze the foreign exchange trading earnings of large U.S commercial banks over the past several years. In particular, we use several approaches to try to determine to what extent these profits can be attributed either to position-taking by banks or to the provision of intermediation services to bank customers. The results can be summarized as follows. First, banks appear to generate a substantial portion of their foreign exchange earnings from making markets in conventional spot and forward foreign exchange contracts. In addition, some indirect evidence supports anecdotal reports that ...
Strategic returns to international diversification: an application to the equity markets of Europe, Japan, and North America
We undertake a decomposition of the risk factor loadings of fifteen national stock market returns from 1972 to 1990, using a variant of the Campbell-Shiller (1988) linearization. We find considerable variation among countries in the relative importance of a cash flow component and a discount rate component in determining the beta with the world equity index return and with other risk factors. Also, the international heterogeneity we find in factor loadings suggests that a global portfolio allows substantial hedging opportunities, presumably deriving from differences in underlying economic ...
Macroeconomic state variables as determinants of asset price covariances
This paper explores the possible advantages of introducing observable state variables into risk management models as a strategy for modeling the evolution of second moments. A simulation exercise demonstrates that if asset returns depend upon a set of underlying state variables that are autoregressively conditionally heteroskedastic (ARCH), then a risk management model that fails to take account of this dependence can badly mismeasure a portfolio's "Value-at-Risk" (VaR), even if the model allows for conditional heteroskedasticity in asset returns. Variables measuring macroeconomic news are ...
Good news is no news? The impact of credit rating changes on the pricing of asset-backed securities
We assess the impact of credit ratings on the pricing of structured financial products, using a sample of more than 1300 changes in Moody's or Standard and Poor's (S&P) ratings of U.S. asset-backed securities (ABS). We find that rating downgrades tend to be accompanied by negative returns and widening spreads, with the average effects stronger than those that have been reported in prior research on corporate and sovereign bond ratings. A portion of the negative implications of ABS downgrades are anticipated by price movements ahead of the rating action, although to a lesser degree than has ...