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Central bank macroeconomic forecasting during the global financial crisis: the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of New York experiences
This paper documents macroeconomic forecasting during the global financial crisis by two key central banks: the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The paper is the result of a collaborative effort between the two institutions, allowing us to study the time-stamped forecasts as they were made throughout the crisis. The analysis does not focus exclusively on point forecast performance. It also examines density forecasts, as well as methodological contributions, including how financial market data could have been incorporated into the forecasting process.
Forecasting through the rear-view mirror: data revisions and bond return predictability
Real-time macroeconomic data reflect the information available to market participants, whereas final data?containing revisions and released with a delay?overstate the information set available to them. We document that the in-sample and out-of-sample Treasury return predictability is significantly diminished when real-time as opposed to revised macroeconomic data are used. In fact, much of the predictive information in macroeconomic time series is due to the data revision and publication lag components.
The low-frequency impact of daily monetary policy shocks
With rare exception, studies of monetary policy tend to neglect the timing of the innovations to the monetary policy instrument. Models which do take timing seriously are often difficult to compare to standard VAR models of monetary policy because of the differences in the frequency that they use. We propose an alternative model using MIDAS regressions which nests both ideas: Accurate (daily) timing of innovations to the monetary policy instrument are embedded in a monthly frequency VAR to determine the macroeconomic effects of high frequency changes to policy. We find that taking into ...
Liquidity and volatility in the U.S. treasury market
We model the joint dynamics of intraday liquidity, volume, and volatility in the U.S. Treasury market, especially through the 2007-09 financial crisis and around important economic announcements. Using various specifications based on Bauwens and Giot?s (2000) Log- ACD(1,1) model, we find that liquidity, volume, and volatility are highly persistent, with volatility having a lower short-term persistence than the other two. Market liquidity and volume are important to explaining volatility dynamics but not vice versa. In addition, market dynamics change during the financial crisis, with all ...
Backtesting Systemic Risk Measures During Historical Bank Runs
The measurement of systemic risk is at the forefront of economists and policymakers concerns in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. What exactly are we measuring and do any of the proposed measures perform well outside the context of the recent financial crisis? One way to address these questions is to take backtesting seriously and evaluate how useful the recently proposed measures are when applied to historical crises. Ideally, one would like to look at the pre-FDIC era for a broad enough sample of financial panics to confidently assess the robustness of systemic risk measures but ...
Discount window stigma during the 2007-2008 financial crisis
We provide empirical evidence for the existence, magnitude, and economic cost of stigma associated with banks borrowing from the Federal Reserve?s Discount Window (DW) during the 2007-08 financial crisis. We find that banks were willing to pay a premium of around 44 basis points across funding sources (126 basis points after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers) to avoid borrowing from the DW. DW stigma is economically relevant as it increased some banks? borrowing cost by 32 basis points of their pre-tax return on assets (ROA) during the crisis. The implications of our results for the provision ...
Momentum Trading, Return Chasing and Predictable Crashes
We combine self-collected historical data from 1867 to 1907 with CRSP data from 1926 to 2012, to examine the risk and return over the past 140 years of one of the most popular mechanical trading strategies ? momentum. We find that momentum has earned abnormally high risk-adjusted returns ?a three factor alpha of 1 percent per month between 1927 and 2012 and 0.5 percent per month between 1867 and 1907 ? both statistically significantly different from zero. However, the momentum strategy also exposed investors to large losses (crashes) during both periods. Momentum crashes were predictable ? ...
A time series model with periodic stochastic regime switching
A general class of Markov switching regime time series models is presented that allows one to estimate the nontrivial interdependencies between different types of cycles which make the economy grow at an unsteady rate. The paper further explores results obtained in Ghysels (1991b) suggesting that the economy transits from recessions to expansions with an uneven propensity throughout the year. It is also built on the work of Hamilton (1989) who proposed a stochastic switching-regime model for GNP and has important connections with hidden periodic structures discussed by Tiao and Grupe (1980) ...
Forecasting professional forecasters
Survey of forecasters, containing respondents' predictions of future values of growth, inflation and other key macroeconomic variables, receive a lot of attention in the financial press, from investors, and from policy makers. They are apparently widely perceived to provide useful information about agents' expectations. Nonetheless, these survey forecasts suffer from the crucial disadvantage that they are often quite stale, as they are released only infrequently, such as on a quarterly basis. In this paper, we propose methods for using asset price data to construct daily forecasts of upcoming ...
Is There Stigma to Discount Window Borrowing?
The Federal Reserve employs the discount window (DW) to provide funding to fundamentally solvent but illiquid banks (see the March 30 post “Why Do Central Banks Have Discount Windows?”). Historically, however, there has been a low level of DW use by banks, even when they are faced with severe liquidity shortages, raising the possibility of a stigma attached to DW borrowing. If DW stigma exists, it is likely to inhibit the Fed’s ability to act as lender of last resort and prod banks to turn to more expensive sources of financing when they can least afford it. In this post, we provide ...