Capital ratios as predictors of bank failure
The current review of the 1988 Basel Capital Accord has put the spotlight on the ratios used to assess banks? capital adequacy. This article examines the effectiveness of three capital ratios?the first based on leverage, the second on gross revenues, and the third on risk-weighted assets?in forecasting bank failure over different time frames. Using 1988-93 data on U.S. banks, the authors find that the simple leverage and gross revenue ratios perform as well as the more complex risk-weighted ratio over one- or two-year horizons. Although the risk-weighted measures prove more accurate in ...
One-sided test for an unknown breakpoint: theory, computation, and application to monetary theory
The econometrics literature contains a variety of two-sided tests for unknown breakpoints in time-series models with one or more parameters. This paper derives an analogous one-sided test that takes into account the direction of the change for a single parameter. In particular, we propose a sup t statistic, which is distributed as a normalized Brownian bridge. The method is illustrated by testing whether the reaction of monetary policy to inflation has increased since 1959.
Rethinking the role of NAIRU in monetary policy: implications of model formulation and uncertainty
In this paper we rethink the NAIRU concept and examine whether it might have a useful role in monetary policy. We argue that it can, but success depends critically on defining NAIRU as a short-run concept and distinguishing it from a long-run concept like the natural rate of unemployment. We examine what effect uncertainty has on the use of NAIRU in policy. Uncertainty about the level of NAIRU does not imply that monetary policy should react less to the NAIRU gap. However, uncertainty about the effect of the NAIRU gap on inflation does require adjustments to the policy reaction function. ...
Are \\"deep\\" parameters stable? the Lucas critique as an empirical hypothesis
For years, the problems associated with the Lucas critique have loomed over empirical macroeconomics. Since the publication of the classic Lucas (1976) critique, researchers have endeavored to specify models that capture the underlying dynamic decision-making behavior of consumers and firms who require forecasts of future events. By uncovering "deep" structural parameters that characterize these fundamental behaviors, and by explicitly modeling expectations, it is argued one can capture the dependence of agents' behavior on the functions describing policy. However, relatively little ...
A prolegomenon to future capital requirements
Bank supervisors have made significant strides since 1980 in the area of capital requirements, and they are currently pursuing further refinements. This article looks beyond such developments at longer term supervisory goals. Abstracting to some extent from the current regulatory framework, the author attempts to delineate a set of fundamental principles for future work on capital requirements. He distinguishes minimum capital--an objective standard imposed by regulators across firms--from optimum capital--a subjective standard adopted by individual firms to cover their own risks-- and shows ...
The yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions
The yield curve--specifically, the spread between the interest rates on the ten-year Treasury note and the three-month Treasury bill--is a valuable forecasting tool. It is simple to use and significantly outperforms other financial and macroeconomic indicators in predicting recessions two to six quarters ahead.
Consistent margin requirements: are they feasible?
Predicting U.S. recessions: financial variables as leading indicators
This article examines the performance of various financial variables as predictors of U.S. recessions. Series such as interest rates and spreads, stock prices, currencies, and monetary aggregates are evaluated individually and in comparison with other financial and non-financial indicators. The analysis focuses on out-of-sample performance from 1 to 8 quarters ahead. Results show that stock prices are useful with 1-3 quarter horizons, as are some well-known macroeconomic indicators. Beyond 1 quarter, however, the slope of the yield curve emerges as the clear individual choice and typically ...
Taylor, Black and Scholes: series approximations and risk management pitfalls
Risk managers make frequent use of finite Taylor approximations to option pricing formulas, particularly of first and second order (delta and gamma). This paper shows that for a plausible range of parameter values, the Taylor series for the Black-Scholes formula diverges. Using a numerical technique developed in the paper, it is also shown that even when the series converges, finite approximations of very large order are generally necessary to achieve acceptable levels of accuracy. Implications for risk management and stress testing are discussed.