Bubbles and Leverage: A Simple and Unified Approach
In this paper, we lay out a simple framework that captures much of what the theoretical literature has to say about the role of credit in systemically important asset booms and busts. In addition, we suggest ways in which to incorporate physical investment in the bubble asset as well as monetary policy.
When Do Trade Frictions Increase Liquidity?
Economists tend to assume that frictions that limit trading in financial markets reduce liquidity and lower investor welfare. In this blog I discuss a recent staff study of mine that challenges that conventional wisdom. I explain how introducing trading frictions—such as circuit breakers—that slow or halt trading in an over-the-counter market experiencing a fire sale might, paradoxically, lead to higher liquidity and investor welfare.
Show me the money: the monetary policy risk premium
We study how monetary policy affects the cross-section of expected stock returns. For this purpose, we create a parsimonious monetary policy exposure (MPE) index based on observable firm characteristics that are theoretically linked to how firms react to monetary policy. We find that stocks whose prices react more positively to expansionary monetary policy surprises earn lower average returns. This finding is consistent with the intuition that monetary policy is expansionary in bad economic times when the marginal value of wealth is high, and thus high MPE stocks serve as a hedge against bad ...
Liquidity Premia, Price-Rent Dynamics, and Business Cycles
n the U.S. economy during the past 25 years, house prices exhibit fluctuations considerably larger than house rents, and these large fluctuations tend to move together with business cycles. We build a simple theoretical model to characterize these observations by showing the tight connection between price-rent fluctuation and the liquidity constraint faced by productive firms. After developing economic intuition for this result, we estimate a medium-scale dynamic general equilibrium model to assess the empirical importance of the role the price-rent fluctuation plays in the business cycle. ...
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 ...
Nonparametric pricing of multivariate contingent claims
In this paper, I derive and implement a nonparametric, arbitrage-free technique for multivariate contingent claim (MVCC) pricing. Using results from the method of copulas, I show that the multivariate risk-neutral density can be written as a product of marginal risk-neutral densities and a risk-neutral dependence function. I then develop a pricing technique using nonparametrically estimated marginal risk-neutral densities (based on options data) and a nonparametric dependence function (based on historical return data). By using nonparametric estimation, I avoid the pricing biases that result ...
Too Good to Be True? Fallacies in Evaluating Risk Factor Models
This paper is concerned with statistical inference and model evaluation in possibly misspecified and unidentified linear asset-pricing models estimated by maximum likelihood and one-step generalized method of moments. Strikingly, when spurious factors (that is, factors that are uncorrelated with the returns on the test assets) are present, the models exhibit perfect fit, as measured by the squared correlation between the model's fitted expected returns and the average realized returns. Furthermore, factors that are spurious are selected with high probability, while factors that are useful are ...
Discount Shock, Price-Rent Dynamics, and the Business Cycle
The price-rent ratio in commercial real estate is highly volatile, and its variation comoves with the business cycle. To account for these two facts, we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model that explicitly introduces a rental market and incorporates the liquidity constraint on an individual firm's production as a key ingredient. Our estimation identifies the discount shock as the most important factor in driving price-rent dynamics and linking the dynamics in the real estate market to those in the real economy. We illustrate the importance of the liquidity premium and endogenous total ...
The impact of the pandemic and the Fed’s muni program on Illinois muni yields
We estimate a simple model in which variations in Illinois daily municipal bond yields are explained by high-frequency indicators summarizing economic and public health conditions in Illinois, as well as key changes in the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility (or MLF). We find that the MLF appears to have reduced Illinois muni yields by more than 200 basis points.
Excess volatility of exchange rates with unobservable fundamentals
We present tests of excess volatility of exchange rates that impose minimal structure on the data and do not commit to a choice of exchange rate "fundamentals." Our method builds on existing volatility tests of asset prices, combining them with a procedure that extracts unobservable fundamentals from survey-based exchange rate expectations. We apply our method to data for the three major exchange rates since 1984 and find broad evidence of excess volatility with respect to the predictions of the canonical asset-pricing model of the exchange rate with rational expectations.