Simple and reliable way to compute option-based risk-neutral distributions
This paper describes a method for computing risk-neutral density functions based on the option-implied volatility smile. Its aim is to reduce complexity and provide cookbook-style guidance through the estimation process. The technique is robust and avoids violations of option no-arbitrage restrictions that can lead to negative probabilities and other implausible results. I give examples for equities, foreign exchange, and long-term interest rates.
Explaining Exchange Rate Anomalies in a Model with Taylor-Rule Fundamentals and Consistent Expectations
We introduce a form of boundedly-rational expectations into a standard asset-pricing model of the exchange rate, where cross-country interest rate differentials are governed by Taylor-type rules. We postulate that agents augment a lagged-information random walk forecast with a term that relates to news about Taylor-rule fundamentals. We solve for a ?consistent expectations equilibrium,? in which the coefficient on fundamental news in the agent?s forecast rule is pinned down using the moments of observable data. The forecast errors observed by the agent are close to white noise, making it di ...
Bayesian Estimation of Time-Changed Default Intensity Models
We estimate a reduced-form model of credit risk that incorporates stochastic volatility in default intensity via stochastic time-change. Our Bayesian MCMC estimation method overcomes nonlinearity in the measurement equation and state-dependent volatility in the state equation. We implement on firm-level time-series of CDS spreads, and find strong in-sample evidence of stochastic volatility in this market. Relative to the widely-used CIR model for the default intensity, we find that stochastic time-change offers modest benefit in fitting the cross-section of CDS spreads at each point in time, ...
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 ...
Assessing Abenomics: Evidence from Inflation-Indexed Japanese Government Bonds
We assess the impact of news concerning the reforms associated with ?Abenomics? using an arbitrage-free term structure model of nominal and real yields. Our model explicitly accounts for the deflation protection enhancement embedded in Japanese inflation-indexed bonds issued since 2013, which pay their original nominal principal when deflation has occurred from issue to maturity. The value of this enhancement is sizable and time-varying, with substantive impacts on estimates of expected inflation compensation. After properly accounting for deflation protection, our results suggest that ...
Accounting for Low Long-Term Interest Rates: Evidence from Canada
In recent decades, long-term interest rates around the world have fallen to historic lows. We examine this decline using a dynamic term structure model of Canadian nominal and real yields with adjustments for term, liquidity, and inflation risk premiums. Canada provides a useful case study that has been little examined despite its established indexed debt market, negligible distortions from monetary quantitative easing or the zero lower bound, and no sovereign credit risk. We find that since 2000, the steady-state real interest rate has fallen by more than 2 percentage points, long-term ...
Mining for Oil Forecasts
In this paper, we study the usefulness of a large number of traditional determinants and novel text-based variables for in-sample and out-of-sample forecasting of oil spot and futures returns, energy company stock returns, oil price volatility, oil production, and oil inventories. After carefully controlling for small-sample biases, we find compelling evidence of in-sample predictability. Our text measures hold their own against traditional variables for oil forecasting. However, none of this translates to out-of-sample predictability until we data mine our set of predictive variables. Our ...
Financial variables and macroeconomic forecast errors
A large set of financial variables has only limited power to predict a latent factor common to the year-ahead forecast errors for real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the unemployment rate, and Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for three sets of professional forecasters: the Federal Reserve?s Greenbook, the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF), and the Blue Chip Consensus Forecasts. Even when a financial variable appears to be fairly robust across sample periods in explaining the latent factor, from an economic standpoint its contribution appears modest. Still, several financial ...
Nonlinearity and flight to safety in the risk-return trade-off for stocks and bonds
We document a highly significant, strongly nonlinear dependence of stock and bond returns on past equity market volatility as measured by the VIX. We propose a new estimator for the shape of the nonlinear forecasting relationship that exploits additional variation in the cross section of returns. The nonlinearities are mirror images for stocks and bonds, revealing flight to safety: expected returns increase for stocks when volatility increases from moderate to high levels, while they decline for Treasury securities. These findings provide support for dynamic asset pricing theories where the ...
Term Premium Variability and Monetary Policy
Two traditional explanations for the mean and variability of the term premium are: (i) time-varying risk premia on long bonds, and (ii) segmented markets between long- and short-term bonds. This paper integrates these two approaches into a medium-scale DSGE model. We consider two sources of business cycle variability: shocks to total factor productivity (TFP), and shocks to the marginal efficiency of investment (MEI). The ability of the risk approach to match the first moment of the term premium depends upon the relative importance of these two shocks. If MEI shocks are an important driver of ...