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The Low Volatility Puzzle: Are Investors Complacent?
In recent months, some analysts and policymakers have raised concerns about the unusually low level of stock market volatility. For example, in the June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes ?a few participants expressed concern that subdued market volatility, coupled with a low equity premium, could lead to a buildup of risks to financial stability.? In this post, we review this concern and find the evidence on investor complacency is mixed. On one hand, we present a view suggesting that historical volatility may have been abnormally high, rather than current volatility being ...
The Low Volatility Puzzle: Is This Time Different?
As stock market volatility hovers near all-time lows, some analysts are questioning whether investors are complacent, drawing an analogy to the lead-up to the financial crisis. But, is this time different? We follow up on our previous post by investigating the persistence of low volatility periods. Historically, realized stock market volatility is persistent and mean-reverting: low volatility today predicts slightly higher, but still low, volatility one month and one year from now. Moreover, as of mid-September, the market is pricing implied volatility of 19 percent in one to two years? time. ...
The Persistent Effects of the Temporary Tightening in Financial Conditions
Market-based measures of uncertainty, a common proxy for broader financial conditions, rose sharply in the fourth quarter of 2018 but have retreated to more normal levels over the last few months. While the recent increase in uncertainty was brief, the temporary tightening in financial conditions will likely have longer-lasting effects on economic activity and prices.
Constructing Zero-Beta VIX Portfolios with Dynamic CAPM
This paper focuses on actively managed portfolios of VIX derivatives constructed to reduce portfolio correlation with the equity market. We find that the best results are obtained using Kalman filter-based dynamic CAPM. The portfolio construction method is capable of constructing zero-beta portfolios with positive alpha.
Asset Return Dynamics under Habits and Bad-Environment Good-Environment Fundamentals
We introduce a "bad environment-good environment" (BEGE) technology for consumption growth in a consumption-based asset pricing model with external habit formation. The model generates realistic non-Gaussian features of consumption growth and fits standard salient features of asset prices including the means and volatilities of equity returns and a low risk free rate. BEGE dynamics additionally allow the model to generate realistic properties of equity index options prices, and their comovements with the macroeconomic outlook. In particular, when option implied volatility is high, as ...