No good deals—no bad models
Faced with the problem of pricing complex contingent claims, investors seek to make their valuations robust to model uncertainty. We construct a notion of a model-uncertainty-induced utility function and show that model uncertainty increases investors? effective risk aversion. Using this utility function, we extend the ?no good deals? methodology of Cochrane and Sa-Requejo (2000) to compute lower and upper good-deal bounds in the presence of model uncertainty. We illustrate the methodology using some numerical examples.
Liquidity Policies and Systemic Risk
One of the most innovative and potentially far-reaching consequences of regulatory reform since the financial crisis has been the development of liquidity regulations for the banking system. While bank regulation traditionally focuses on requiring a minimum amount of capital, liquidity requirements impose a minimum amount of liquid assets. In this post, we provide a conceptual framework that allows us to evaluate the impact of liquidity requirements on economic growth, the creation of systemic risk, and household welfare. Importantly, the framework addresses both liquidity requirements and ...
What Do Financial Conditions Tell Us about Risks to GDP Growth?
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been sharp. Real U.S. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2020 (advance estimate) was -4.8 percent at an annual rate, the worst since the global financial crisis in 2008. Most forecasters predict much weaker growth in the second quarter, ranging widely from an annual rate of -15 percent to -50 percent as the economy pauses to allow for social distancing. Although growth is expected to begin its rebound in the third quarter absent a second wave of the pandemic, the speed of the recovery is highly uncertain. In this post, we estimate the risks ...
The Long and Short of It: The Post-Crisis Corporate CDS Market
We establish key stylized facts about the post-crisis evolution of trading and pricing of credit default swaps. Using supervisory contract-level data, we document that dealers become net buyers of credit protection starting in the second half of 2014, both through reducing the amount of protection they sell in the single-name market and through switching to buying protection in the index market. More generally, we argue that considering simultaneous positions in different types of credit derivatives is crucial for understanding institutions? participation decisions and how these decisions ...
Negative swap spreads
Market participants have been surprised by the decline of U.S. interest rate swap rates relative to Treasury yields of equal maturity over the past two years, with interest rate swap spreads becoming negative for many maturities. This movement of swap spreads into negative territory has been attributed anecdotally to idiosyncratic factors such as changes in foreign reserve balances and liability duration management by corporations. However, we argue in this article that regulatory changes affected the willingness of supervised institutions to absorb shocks. In particular, we find that ...
No Good Deals—No Bad Models
The recent financial crisis has highlighted the significance of unhedgable, illiquid positions in complex securities for individual financial institutions and for the global financial system as a whole. Indeed, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision notes that "One of the key lessons of the crisis has been the need to strengthen the risk coverage of the capital framework. Failure to capture major on- and off-balance sheet risks, as well as derivative related exposures, was a key destabilizing factor during the crisis."
It’s What You Say and What You Buy: A Holistic Evaluation of the Corporate Credit Facilities
We evaluate the impact of the Federal Reserve corporate credit facilities (PMCCF and SMCCF). A third of the positive effect on prices and liquidity occurred on the announcement date. We document immediate pass-through into primary markets, particularly for eligible issuers. Improvements continue as additional information is shared and purchases begin, with the impact of bond purchases larger than the impact of purchases of ETFs. Exploiting cross-sectional evidence, we see the greatest impact on investment grade bonds and in industries less affected by COVID, concluding that the improvement in ...
We study how the risks to future liquidity flow across corporate bond, Treasury, and stock markets. We document distribution ?flight-to-safety? effects: a deterioration in the liquidity of high-yield corporate bonds forecasts an increase in the average liquidity of Treasury securities and a decrease in uncertainty about the liquidity of investment-grade corporate bonds. While the liquidity of Treasury securities both affects and is affected by the liquidity in the other two markets, corporate bond and equity market liquidity appear to be largely divorced from each other. Finally, we show that ...
Trends in credit market arbitrage
Market participants and policymakers alike were surprised by the large, prolonged dislocations in credit market arbitrage trades during the second half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. In this paper, we examine three explanations proposed by market participants: increased idiosyncratic risks, strategic positioning by some market participants, and regulatory changes. We find some evidence of increased idiosyncratic risk during the relevant period but limited evidence of asset managers changing their positioning in derivative products. While we cannot quantify the contribution of these ...
We argue that post-crisis banking regulations pass through from regulated institutions to unregulated arbitrageurs. We document that, once post-crisis regulations bind post 2014, hedge funds use a larger number of prime brokers and diversify away from GSIB-affiliated prime brokers, and that the match to such prime brokers is more fragile. Tighter regulatory constraints disincentivize regulated institutions not only to engage in arbitrage activity themselves but also to provide leverage to other arbitrageurs. Indeed, we show that the maximum leverage allowed and the implied return on basis ...