New Economics Papers
on Financial Markets
Issue of 2009‒09‒26
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Credit Default Swaps and the Credit Crisis By René M. Stulz
  2. Financial Bubbles, Real Estate bubbles, Derivative Bubbles, and the Financial and Economic Crisis By Didier Sornette; Ryan Woodard
  3. What Happened to Risk Management During the 2008-09 Financial Crisis? By Juan-Angel Jimenez-Martin; Michael McAleer; Teodosio Pérez-Amaral
  4. Optimal Risk Management Before, During and After the 2008-09 Financial Crisis By Juan-Angel Jimenez-Martin; Michael McAleer; Teodosio Pérez-Amaral
  5. The Outbreak of the Russian Banking Crisis By Fidrmuc, Jarko; Süß, Philipp Johann
  6. A Consistent Model of `Explosive' Financial Bubbles With Mean-Reversing Residuals By L. Lin; Ren R. E; D. Sornette
  7. Performance Analysis of a Collateralized Fund Obligation (CFO) Equity Tranche By Shady Aboul-Enein; Georges Dionne; Nicolas Papageorgiou
  8. Credit risk modeling using time-changed Brownian motion By T. R. Hurd
  9. Regulation of Large Financial Institutions: Lessons from Corporate Finance Theory By John P. Harding; Stephen L. Ross
  10. High frequency market microstructure noise estimates and liquidity measures By Yacine A\"it-Sahalia; Jialin Yu
  11. Market impact and trading profile of large trading orders in stock markets By Esteban Moro; Javier Vicente; Luis G. Moyano; Austin Gerig; J. Doyne Farmer; Gabriella Vaglica; Fabrizio Lillo; Rosario N. Mantegna
  12. Stock Market Trading Via Stochastic Network Optimization By Michael J. Neely
  13. Are Stock Markets Integrated? Evidence from a Partially Segmented ICAPM with Asymmetric Effects By Mohamed El Hedi Arouri
  14. Stock market integration in the Latin American markets: further evidence from nonlinear modeling By Fredj Jawadi; Nicolas Million; Mohamed El Hedi Arouri

  1. By: René M. Stulz
    Abstract: Many observers have argued that credit default swaps contributed significantly to the credit crisis. Of particular concern to these observers are that credit default swaps trade in the largely unregulated over-the-counter market as bilateral contracts involving counterparty risk and that they facilitate speculation involving negative views of a firm’s financial strength. Some observers have suggested that credit default swaps would not have made the crisis worse had they been traded on exchanges. I conclude that credit default swaps did not cause the dramatic events of the credit crisis, that the over-the-counter credit default swaps market worked well during much of the first year of the credit crisis, and that exchange trading has both advantages and costs compared to over-the-counter trading. Though I argue that eliminating over-the-counter trading of credit default swaps could reduce social welfare, I also recognize that much research is needed to understand better and quantify the social gains and costs of derivatives in general and credit default swaps in particular.
    JEL: G13 G14 G18 G21 G24 G28
    Date: 2009–09
  2. By: Didier Sornette; Ryan Woodard
    Abstract: The financial crisis of 2008, which started with an initially well-defined epicenter focused on mortgage backed securities (MBS), has been cascading into a global economic recession, whose increasing severity and uncertain duration has led and is continuing to lead to massive losses and damage for billions of people. Heavy central bank interventions and government spending programs have been launched worldwide and especially in the USA and Europe, with the hope to unfreeze credit and boltster consumption. Here, we present evidence and articulate a general framework that allows one to diagnose the fundamental cause of the unfolding financial and economic crisis: the accumulation of several bubbles and their interplay and mutual reinforcement has led to an illusion of a "perpetual money machine" allowing financial institutions to extract wealth from an unsustainable artificial process. Taking stock of this diagnostic, we conclude that many of the interventions to address the so-called liquidity crisis and to encourage more consumption are ill-advised and even dangerous, given that precautionary reserves were not accumulated in the "good times" but that huge liabilities were. The most "interesting" present times constitute unique opportunities but also great challenges, for which we offer a few recommendations.
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Juan-Angel Jimenez-Martin (Dpto. de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico II, Universidad Complutense); Michael McAleer; Teodosio Pérez-Amaral (Dpto. de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico II, Universidad Complutense)
    Abstract: When dealing with market risk under the Basel II Accord, variation pays in the form of lower capital requirements and higher profits. Typically, GARCH type models are chosen to forecast Value-at-Risk (VaR) using a single risk model. In this paper we illustrate two useful variations to the standard mechanism for choosing forecasts, namely: (i) combining different forecast models for each period, such as a daily model that forecasts the supremum or infinum value for the VaR; (ii) alternatively, select a single model to forecast VaR, and then modify the daily forecast, depending on the recent history of violations under the Basel II Accord. We illustrate these points using the Standard and Poor’s 500 Composite Index. In many cases we find significant decreases in the capital requirements, while incurring a number of violations that stays within the Basel II Accord limits.
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Juan-Angel Jimenez-Martin (Dpto. de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico II, Universidad Complutense); Michael McAleer; Teodosio Pérez-Amaral (Dpto. de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico II, Universidad Complutense)
    Abstract: In this paper we advance the idea that optimal risk management under the Basel II Accord will typically require the use of a combination of different models of risk. This idea is illustrated by analyzing the best empirical models of risk for five stock indexes before, during,and after the 2008-09 financial crisis. The data used are the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Financial Times Stock Exchange 100, Nikkei, Hang Seng and Standard and Poor’s 500 Composite Index. The primary goal of the exercise is to identify the best models for risk management in each period according to the minimization of average daily capital requirements under the Basel II Accord. It is found that the best risk models can and do vary before, during and after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Moreover, it is found that an aggressive risk management strategy, namely the supremum strategy that combines different models of risk, can result in significant gains in average daily capital requirements, relative to the strategy of using single models, while staying within the limits of the Basel II Accord.
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Fidrmuc, Jarko; Süß, Philipp Johann
    Abstract: Russian banks have been strongly influenced by the worldwide financial crisis which started in the second half of 2008. This was caused by a combination of domestic, regional and international factors. We estimate an early warning model for the Russian crisis. We identified 47 Russian banks which failed after September 2008. Using the Bankscope data set, we show that balance sheet indicators were informative about possible failures of these banks as early as 2006. The early predictive indicators include especially equity, net interest revenues, return on average equity, net loans, and loan loss reserves.
    Keywords: Banking and financial crisis; early warning models; Russia; Logit.
    JEL: G33 G21 C25
    Date: 2009–09–17
  6. By: L. Lin; Ren R. E; D. Sornette
    Abstract: We present a self-consistent model for explosive financial bubbles, which combines a mean-reverting volatility process and a stochastic conditional return which reflects nonlinear positive feedbacks and continuous updates of the investors' beliefs and sentiments. The conditional expected returns exhibit faster-than-exponential acceleration decorated by accelerating oscillations, called "log-periodic power law." Tests on residuals show a remarkable low rate (0.2%) of false positives when applied to a GARCH benchmark. When tested on the S&P500 US index from Jan. 3, 1950 to Nov. 21, 2008, the model correctly identifies the bubbles ending in Oct. 1987, in Oct. 1997, in Aug. 1998 and the ITC bubble ending on the first quarter of 2000. Different unit-root tests confirm the high relevance of the model specification. Our model also provides a diagnostic for the duration of bubbles: applied to the period before Oct. 1987 crash, there is clear evidence that the bubble started at least 4 years earlier. We confirm the validity and universality of the volatility-confined LPPL model on seven other major bubbles that have occurred in the World in the last two decades. Using Bayesian inference, we find a very strong statistical preference for our model compared with a standard benchmark, in contradiction with Chang and Feigenbaum (2006) which used a unit-root model for residuals.
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: Shady Aboul-Enein; Georges Dionne; Nicolas Papageorgiou
    Abstract: This article examines the performance of the junior tranche of a Collateralized Fund Obligation (CFO), i.e. the residual claim (equity) on a securitized portfolio of hedge funds. We use a polynomial goal programming model to create optimal portfolios of hedge funds, conditional to investor preferences and diversification constraints (maximum allocation per strategy). For each portfolio we build CFO structures that have different levels of leverage, and analyze both the stand alone performance as well as potential diversification benefits (low systematic risk exposures) of investing in the Equity Tranche of these structures. We find that the unconstrained mean-variance portfolio yields a high performance, but greater exposure to systematic risk. We observe the exact opposite picture in the case of unconstrained optimization where a skewness bias is added, thus proving the existence of a trade-off between stand alone performance and low exposure to systematic risk factors. We provide evidence that leveraged exposure to these hedge fund portfolios through the structuring of CFOs creates value for the Equity Tranche investor.
    Keywords: Collateralized Fund Obligation (CFO), hedge funds, structured finance, portfolio optimization, performance analysis, multivariate linear regression, systematic risk
    JEL: G11 G23
    Date: 2009
  8. By: T. R. Hurd
    Abstract: Motivated by the interplay between structural and reduced form credit models, we propose to model the firm value process as a time-changed Brownian motion that may include jumps and stochastic volatility effects, and to study the first passage problem for such processes. We are lead to consider modifying the standard first passage problem for stochastic processes to capitalize on this time change structure and find that the distribution functions of such "first passage times of the second kind" are efficiently computable in a wide range of useful examples. Thus this new notion of first passage can be used to define the time of default in generalized structural credit models. Formulas for defaultable bonds and credit default swaps are given that are both efficiently computable and lead to realistic spread curves. Finally, we show that by treating joint firm value processes as dependent time changes of independent Brownian motions, one can obtain multifirm credit models with rich and plausible dynamics and enjoying the possibility of efficient valuation of portfolio credit derivatives.
    Date: 2009–04
  9. By: John P. Harding (University of Connecticut); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Equity capital is the shock absorber for our financial system and the current financial crisis, like a bumpy road for an auto designer, provides a unique opportunity for financial regulators to evaluate the predictions of theory and improve the design of the regulatory system. The purpose of this paper is to apply a simple model of firm capital structure to the current situation and summarize the insights it provides regarding the regulation of large financial institutions in a post-crisis world. The paper begins with a brief summary of the model and uses the results of that model to place the evolution of the current crisis into perspective. The paper concludes with forward-looking observations and suggestions for future regulation.
    Keywords: Financial Institutions, Financial Crisis, Capital Regulation, Regulatory Reform, Firm Capital Structure
    JEL: G2 G2 L5
    Date: 2009–09
  10. By: Yacine A\"it-Sahalia; Jialin Yu
    Abstract: Using recent advances in the econometrics literature, we disentangle from high frequency observations on the transaction prices of a large sample of NYSE stocks a fundamental component and a microstructure noise component. We then relate these statistical measurements of market microstructure noise to observable characteristics of the underlying stocks and, in particular, to different financial measures of their liquidity. We find that more liquid stocks based on financial characteristics have lower noise and noise-to-signal ratio measured from their high frequency returns. We then examine whether there exists a common, market-wide, factor in high frequency stock-level measurements of noise, and whether that factor is priced in asset returns.
    Date: 2009–06
  11. By: Esteban Moro; Javier Vicente; Luis G. Moyano; Austin Gerig; J. Doyne Farmer; Gabriella Vaglica; Fabrizio Lillo; Rosario N. Mantegna
    Abstract: We empirically study the market impact of trading orders. We are specifically interested in large trading orders that are executed incrementally, which we call hidden orders. These are reconstructed based on information about market member codes using data from the Spanish Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange. We find that market impact is strongly concave, approximately increasing as the square root of order size. Furthermore, as a given order is executed, the impact grows in time according to a power-law; after the order is finished, it reverts to a level of about 0.5-0.7 of its value at its peak. We observe that hidden orders are executed at a rate that more or less matches trading in the overall market, except for small deviations at the beginning and end of the order.
    Date: 2009–08
  12. By: Michael J. Neely
    Abstract: We consider the problem of dynamic buying and selling of shares from a collection of $N$ stocks with random price fluctuations. To limit investment risk, we place an upper bound on the total number of shares kept at any time. Assuming that prices evolve according to an ergodic process with a mild decaying memory property, and assuming constraints on the total number of shares that can be bought and sold at any time, we develop a trading policy that comes arbitrarily close to achieving the profit of an ideal policy that has perfect knowledge of future events. Proximity to the optimal profit comes with a corresponding tradeoff in the maximum required stock level and in the timescales associated with convergence. We then consider arbitrary (possibly non-ergodic) price processes, and show that the same algorithm comes close to the profit of a frame based policy that can look a fixed number of slots into the future. Our analysis uses techniques of Lyapunov Optimization that we originally developed for stochastic network optimization problems.
    Date: 2009–09
  13. By: Mohamed El Hedi Arouri (LEO)
    Abstract: In this paper, we test a partially segmented ICAPM for two developed markets, two emerging markets and World market, using an asymmetric extension of the multivariate GARCH process of De Santis and Gerard (1997,1998). We find that this asymmetric process provides a significantly better fit of the data than a standard symmetric process. The evidence obtained from the whole period and sub-periods analysis supports the financial integration hypothesis and suggests that domestic risk is not a priced factor.
    Date: 2009–05
  14. By: Fredj Jawadi (LEO); Nicolas Million (LEO); Mohamed El Hedi Arouri (LEO)
    Abstract: This article studies the financial integration between the six main Latin American markets and the US market in a nonlinear framework. Using the threshold cointegration techniques of Hansen and Seo (2002), we show significant threshold stock market linkages between Mexico, Chile and the US. Thus, the dynamics of these markets depends simultaneously on local and global risk factors. More importantly, our results show an on-off threshold financial integration process that is activated only when the stock price adjustment exceeds some level.
    Date: 2009–05

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