Optimal portfolio choice under regime switching, skew and kurtosis preferences
This paper proposes a new tractable approach to solving multi-period asset allocation problems. We assume that investor preferences are defined over moments of the terminal wealth distribution such as its skew and kurtosis. Time-variations in investment opportunities are driven by a regime switching process that can capture bull and bear states. We develop analytical methods that only require solving a small set of difference equations and thus are very convenient to use. These methods are applied to a simple portfolio selection problem involving choosing between a stock index and a risk-free ...
Preparing for a smooth (eventual) exit
Remarks at the National Association for Business Economics Policy Conference, Arlington, Virginia
How "unconventional" are large-scale asset purchases? The impact of monetary policy on asset prices
This paper examines the impact of large-scale asset purchases (LSAP) on U.S. asset prices (nominal and inflation-indexed bonds, stocks, and U.S. dollar spot exchange rates) using an event study with intraday data. The surprise component of LSAP announcements is identified from Financial Times articles. Estimation results show that the LSAP news has economically large and highly significant effects on asset prices, even after controlling for the surprise component of the Fed's conventional target rate decision and communication about its future path of policy. This study documents that the ...
Financial intermediation, asset prices, and macroeconomic dynamics
Fluctuations in the aggregate balance sheets of financial intermediaries provide a window on the joint determination of asset prices and macroeconomic aggregates. We document that financial intermediary balance sheets contain strong predictive power for future excess returns on a broad set of equity, corporate, and Treasury bond portfolios. We also show that the same intermediary variables that predict excess returns forecast real economic activity and various measures of inflation. Our findings point to the importance of financing frictions in macroeconomic dynamics and provide quantitative ...
Financial amplification of foreign exchange risk premia
Theories of systemic risk suggest that financial intermediaries? balance-sheet constraints amplify fundamental shocks. We provide supporting evidence for such theories by decomposing the U.S. dollar risk premium into components associated with macroeconomic fundamentals and a component associated with financial intermediaries? balance sheets. Relative to the benchmark model with only macroeconomic state variables, balance sheets amplify the U.S. dollar risk premium. We discuss applications to systemic risk monitoring.
Predictable dynamics in the S&P 500 index options implied volatility surface
One key stylized fact in the empirical option pricing literature is the existence of an implied volatility surface (IVS). The usual approach consists of fitting a linear model linking the implied volatility to the time to maturity and the moneyness, for each cross section of options data. However, recent empirical evidence suggests that the parameters characterizing the IVS change over time. In this paper we study whether the resulting predictability patterns in the IVS coefficients may be exploited in practice. We propose a two-stage approach to modeling and forecasting the S&P 500 index ...
Financial intermediary leverage and value at risk
We study a contracting model for the determination of leverage and balance sheet size for financial intermediaries that fund their activities through collateralized borrowing. The model gives rise to two features: First, leverage is procyclical in the sense that leverage is high when the balance sheet is large. Second, leverage and balance sheet size are both determined by the riskiness of assets. For U.S. investment banks, we find empirical support for both features of our model, that is, leverage is procyclical, and both leverage and balance sheet size are determined by measured risks. In a ...
Asset building and the wealth gap
Building and maintaining financial security is increasingly difficult for a growing portion of American households. Wealth is less prevalent in middle-class households and increasing among the already well-to-do. At the same time, poverty is growing and concentrating disproportionately among the nonwhite population. As the cost of living outpaces income and wealth accumulation, a majority of U.S. households are ill-prepared for financial emergencies or retirement.
High equity premia and crash fears. Rational foundations
We show that when in Lucas trees model the process for dividends is described by a lattice tree subject to infrequent but observable structural breaks, in equilibrium recursive rational learning may inflate the equity risk premium and reduce the risk-free interest rate for low levels of risk aversion. The key condition for these results to obtain is the presence of sufficient initial pessimism. The relevance of these findings is magnified by the fact that under full information our artificial economy cannot generate asset returns matching the empirical evidence for any positive relative risk ...
Measuring financial asset return and volatility spillovers, with application to global equity markets
The authors provide a simple and intuitive measure of interdependence of asset returns and/or volatilities. In particular, they formulate and examine precise and separate measures of return spillovers and volatility spillovers. The authors framework facilitates study of both noncrisis and crisis episodes, including trends and bursts in spillovers, and both turn out to be empirically important. In particular, in an analysis of 19 global equity markets from the early 1990s to the present, they find striking evidence of divergent behavior in the dynamics of return spillovers vs. volatility ...