Term structures of asset prices and returns
We explore the term structures of claims to a variety of cash flows: U.S. government bonds (claims to dollars), foreign government bonds (claims to foreign currency), inflation-adjusted bonds (claims to the price index), and equity (claims to future equity indexes or dividends). Average term structures reflect the dynamics of the dollar pricing kernel, of cash flow growth, and of their interaction. We use simple models to illustrate how relationships between the two components can deliver term structures with a wide range of levels and shapes.
Global variance term premia and intermediary risk appetite
Sellers of variance swaps earn time-varying risk premia for their exposure to realized variance, the level of variance swap rates, and the slope of the variance swap curve. To measure risk premia, we estimate a dynamic term structure model that decomposes variance swap rates into expected variances and term premia. Empirically, we document a strong global factor structure in variance term premia across the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Japan. We further show that variance term premia are negatively correlated with the risk appetite of hedge funds, broker-dealers, and mutual funds. Our results ...
Risk-neutral systemic risk indicators
This paper describes a set of indicators of systemic risk computed from current market prices of equity and equity index options. It displays results from a prototype version, computed daily from January 2006 to January 2013. The indicators represent a systemic risk event as the realization of an extreme loss on a portfolio of large-intermediary equities. The technique for computing them combines risk-neutral return distributions with implied return correlations drawn from option prices, tying together the single-firm return distributions via a copula to simulate the joint distribution and ...
Broker-dealer risk appetite and commodity returns
This paper shows that the risk-bearing capacity of U.S. securities brokers and dealers is a strong determinant of risk premia in commodity derivatives markets. Commodity derivatives are the principal instrument used by producers and purchasers of commodities to hedge against commodity price risk. Broker-dealers play an important role in this hedging process because commodity derivatives are traded primarily over the counter. I capture the limits of arbitrage in this market in a simple asset pricing model where producers and purchasers of commodities share risk with broker-dealers who are ...
The Overnight Drift
This paper documents large positive returns to holding U.S. equity futures overnight during the opening hours of European markets. These returns are not explained by liquidity risk, volatility risk, tail events, or overnight news. Instead, consistent with models of inventory risk and demand for immediacy, we demonstrate a strong relationship with market sell-offs from the previous intraday session. Moreover, price reversals are strongest at the opening of European markets, when overnight trading volumes peak. Finally, the timing of overnight returns shifts predictably in response to exogenous ...
The Law of One Price in Equity Volatility Markets
This paper documents law of one price violations in equity volatility markets. While tightly linked by no-arbitrage restrictions, the prices of VIX futures exhibit significant deviations relative to their option-implied upper bounds. Static arbitrage opportunities occur when the prices of VIX futures violate their bounds. The deviations widen during periods of market stress and predict the returns of VIX futures. A relative value trading strategy based on the deviation measure earns a large Sharpe ratio and economically significant alpha-to-margin. There is evidence that systematic risk and ...
Tractable Rare Disaster Probability and Options-Pricing
We derive an option-pricing formula from recursive preference and estimate rare disaster probability. The new options-pricing formula applies to far-out-of-the money put options on the stock market when disaster risk dominates, the size distribution of disasters follows a power law, and the economy has a representative agent with Epstein-Zin utility. The formula conforms with options data on the S&P 500 index from 1983-2018 and for analogous indices for other countries. The disaster probability, inferred from monthly fixed effects, is highly correlated across countries, peaks during the ...
Trader Positions and Marketwide Liquidity Demand
In electronic, liquid markets, traders frequently change their positions. The distribution of these trader position changes carries important information about liquidity demand in the market. From this distribution of trader position-changes, we construct a marketwide measure for intraday liquidity demand that does not necessarily depend on aggressive trading. Using a rich regulatory dataset on S&P 500 E-mini futures and 10-year Treasury futures markets, we show that this liquidity demand measure has a positive impact on prices. We then decompose our measure of liquidity demand into three ...
Macro Risks and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
We use non-Gaussian features in U.S. macroeconomic data to identify aggregate supply and demand shocks while imposing minimal economic assumptions. Recessions in the 1970s and 1980s were driven primarily by supply shocks, later recessions were driven primarily by demand shocks, and the Great Recession exhibited large negative shocks to both demand and supply. We estimate "macro risk factors" that drive "bad" (negatively skewed) and "good" (positively skewed) variation for supply and demand shocks. The Great Moderation is mostly accounted for by a reduction in good variance. In contrast, ...
Counterparty Risk and Counterparty Choice in the Credit Default Swap Market
We investigate how market participants price and manage counterparty risk in the post-crisis period using confidential trade repository data on single-name credit default swap (CDS) transactions. We find that counterparty risk has a modest impact on the pricing of CDS contracts, but a large impact on the choice of counterparties. We show that market participants are significantly less likely to trade with counterparties whose credit risk is highly correlated with the credit risk of the reference entities and with counterparties whose credit quality is relatively low. Furthermore, we examine ...