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Keywords:asset pricing 

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How do treasury dealers manage their positions?

Using data on U.S. Treasury dealer positions from 1990 to 2006, we find evidence of a significant role for dealers in the intertemporal intermediation of new Treasury security supply. Dealers regularly take into inventory a large share of Treasury issuance so that dealer positions increase during auction weeks. These inventory increases are only partially offset in adjacent weeks and are not significantly hedged with futures. Dealers seem to be compensated for the risk associated with these inventory changes by means of price appreciation in the subsequent week.
Staff Reports , Paper 299

Report
Empirical evaluation of asset pricing models: arbitrage and pricing errors over contingent claims

In a 1997 paper, Hansen and Jagannathan develop two pricing error measures for asset pricing models. The first measure is the maximum pricing error on given test assets, and the second measure is the maximum pricing error over all possible contingent claims. We develop a simulation-based Bayesian inference of the pricing error measures. Although linear time-varying and multifactor models are widely reported to have small pricing errors on standard test assets, we demonstrate that these models can have large pricing errors over contingent claims because their stochastic discount factors are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 265

Report
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.
Staff Reports , Paper 103

Report
No good deals—no bad models

Faced with the problem of pricing complex contingent claims, investors seek to make their valuations robust to model uncertainty. We construct a notion of a model-uncertainty-induced utility function and show that model uncertainty increases investors? effective risk aversion. Using this utility function, we extend the ?no good deals? methodology of Cochrane and Sa-Requejo (2000) to compute lower and upper good-deal bounds in the presence of model uncertainty. We illustrate the methodology using some numerical examples.
Staff Reports , Paper 589

Report
Leverage and asset prices: an experiment

This is the first paper to test the asset pricing implication of leverage in a laboratory. We show that as theory predicts, leverage increases asset prices: When an asset can be used as collateral (that is, when the asset can be bought on margin), its price goes up. This increase is significant, and quantitatively close to what theory predicts. However, important deviations from the theory arise in the laboratory. First, the demand for the asset shifts when it can be used as a collateral, even though agents do not exhaust their purchasing power when collateralized borrowing is not allowed. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 548

Report
Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: a cross-sectional test when risk premia are time-varying

This paper explores the ability of theoretically based asset pricing models such as the CAPM and the consumption CAPM-referred to jointly as the (C)CAPM - to explain the cross-section of average stock returns. Unlike many previous empirical tests of the (C)CAPM, we specify the pricing kernel as a conditional linear factor model, as would be expected if risk premia vary over time. Central to our approach is the use of a conditioning variable which proxies for fluctuations in the log consumption-aggregate wealth ratio and is likely to be important for summarizing conditional expectations of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 93

Report
The term structure of inflation expectations

We present estimates of the term structure of inflation expectations, derived from an affine model of real and nominal yield curves. The model features stochastic covariation of inflation with the real pricing kernel, enabling us to extract a time-varying inflation risk premium. We fit the model not only to yields, but also to the yields' variance-covariance matrix, thus increasing identification power. We find that model-implied inflation expectations can differ substantially from break-even inflation rates when market volatility is high. Our model's ability to be updated weekly makes it ...
Staff Reports , Paper 362

Report
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 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 406

Report
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 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 162

Report
Intermediary leverage cycles and financial stability

We present a theory of financial intermediary leverage cycles within a dynamic model of the macroeconomy. Intermediaries face risk-based funding constraints that give rise to procyclical leverage and a procyclical share of intermediated credit. The pricing of risk varies as a function of intermediary leverage, and asset return exposures to intermediary leverage shocks earn a positive risk premium. Relative to an economy with constant leverage, financial intermediaries generate higher consumption growth and lower consumption volatility in normal times, at the cost of endogenous systemic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 567

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