The effect of interest rate options hedging on term-structure dynamics
Market participants and policymakers closely monitor movements in the yield curve for information about future economic fundamentals. In several recent episodes, however, disruptions to market liquidity have affected the short-term dynamics of the curve independently of fundamentals. This article provides evidence that the short-run dynamics in the intermediate maturities of the yield curve changed around 1990, with the appearance of positive feedback in weekly interest rate changes. The feedback is consistent with the effects of options dealers? hedging activity and it is found only in the ...
Alternative estimates of the presidential premium
Since the early 1980s much research, including the most recent contribution of Santa-Clara and Valkanov (2003), has concluded that there is a stable, robust and significant relationship between Democratic presidential administrations and robust stock returns. Moreover, the difference in returns does not appear to be accompanied by any significant differences in risk across the presidential cycle. These conclusions are largely based on OLS estimates of the difference in returns across the presidential cycle. We re-examine this issue using more efficient estimators of the presidential premium. ...
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.
Variance risk premia, asset predictability puzzles, and macroeconomic uncertainty
This paper presents predictability evidence from the difference between implied and expected variances or variance risk premium that: (1) the variance difference measure predicts a significant positive risk premium across equity, bond, and credit markets; (2) the predictability is short-run, in that it peaks around one to four months and dies out as the horizon increases; and (3) such a short-run predictability is complementary to that of the standard predictor variables--P/E ratio, forward spread, and short rate. These findings are potentially justifiable by a general equilibrium model with ...
Investing for the long-run in European real estate
We calculate optimal portfolio choices for a long-horizon, risk-averse investor who diversifies among European stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash, when excess asset returns are predictable. Simulations are performed for scenarios involving different risk aversion levels, horizons, and statistical models capturing predictability in risk premia. Importantly, under one of the scenarios, the investor takes into account the parameter uncertainty implied by the use of estimated coefficients to characterize predictability. We find that real estate ought to play a significant role in optimal ...
The stock market: too high? too low? just right
1/N and long run optimal portfolios: results for mixed asset menus
Recent research [e.g., DeMiguel, Garlappi and Uppal, (2009), Rev. Fin. Studies] has cast doubts on the out-of-sample performance of optimizing portfolio strategies relative to naive, equally weighted ones. However, existing results concern the simple case in which an investor has a one-month horizon and meanvariance preferences. In this paper, we examine whether their result holds for longer investment horizons, when the asset menu includes bonds and real estate beyond stocks and cash, and when the investor is characterized by constant relative risk aversion preferences which are not locally ...
Stare down the barrel and center the crosshairs: Targeting the ex ante equity premium
The equity premium of interest in theoretical models is the extra return investors anticipate when purchasing risky stock instead of risk-free debt. Unfortunately, we do not observe this ex ante premium in the data; we only observe the returns that investors actually receive ex post, after they purchase the stock and hold it over some period of time during which random economic shocks affect prices. Over the past century U.S. stocks have returned roughly 6 percent more than risk-free debt, which is higher than warranted by standard economic theory; hence the "equity premium puzzle." In this ...
The yield curve as a leading indicator: some practical issues
Since the 1980s, economists have argued that the slope of the yield curve-the spread between long- and short-term interest rates-is a good predictor of future economic activity. While much of the existing research has documented how consistently movements in the curve have signaled past recessions, considerably less attention has been paid to the use of the yield curve as a forecasting tool in real time. This analysis seeks to fill that gap by offering practical guidelines on how best to construct the yield curve indicator and to interpret the measure in real time.
Do industrialized countries hold the right foreign exchange reserves?
That central banks should hold foreign currency reserves is a key tenet of the post-Bretton Woods international financial order. But recent growth in the reserve balances of industrialized countries raises questions about what level and composition of reserves are ?right? for these countries. A look at the rationale for reserves and the reserve practices of select countries suggests that large balances may not be needed to maintain an effective exchange rate policy over the medium and long term. Moreover, countries may incur an opportunity cost by holding funds in currency and asset ...