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Macroeconmic Sources of FOREX Risk

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  • Mike R Wickens
  • Peter N Smith

Abstract

This paper considers the problem of measuring macroeconomic sources of financial risk. 1. It aims to provide a general theory of asset pricing suitable for taking account of macroeconomic sources of risk. Stochastic discount factor theory is used to provide the theoretical framework. This is capable of embracing most of the approaches in the literature, including general equilibrium theory. Market structure needs to be added to this. 2. It is shown that many of the models used in the empirical literature of asset pricing have a fundamental flaw: they admit unlimited arbitrage opportunities. High profile suites of computer programs just produced and sold world-wide suffer the same problem, and hence should not be used. 3. Modelling the exchange rate is key to much of monetary policy (eg the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee), and to testing FOREX market efficiency. The forward premium puzzle lies at the heart of the difficulty of doing this. The theoretical results of this paper are used to re-examine the distribution of exchange rate movements and to try to resolve this puzzle. Stochastic discount factor theory is used to derive expressions for the risk premia for domestic and foreign investors. It is shown that these are likely to be different. A combined theory of market risk when both types of investor are trading is then obtained. The cases of complete and incomplete markets are considered. It is shown how macroeconomic sources of risk can be introduced by modelling the stochastic discount factor using observable macroeconomic variables. Three SDF models are compared: a benchmark model which provides a reformulation of traditional tests of FOREX efficiency; inter-temporal consumption-based CAPM; and the monetary model of the exchange rate, a familiar macroeconomic model of FOREX which can be interpreted as arising from traditional hedging concerns. The joint distribution of the excess return to foreign exchange and the macro factors is specified in a way that satisfies the no-arbitrage assumption. It is assumed that the joint distribution has multivariate GARCH and it is shown that to eliminate arbitrage opportunities it is necessary for the conditional distribution of the excess return to exhibit GARCH-in-mean. The omission of the conditional covariance between the excess return and the sources of risk is the reason why nearly all financial statistical packages are not suitable for use in financial econometrics. The presence of this term implies that the analysis must be conducted in a multi-variate and not a uni-variate framework. The theory admits the possibility that domestic and foreign investors may have different attitudes to risk. This is incorporated into the model by introducing a switching formulation of the conditional covariance structure. Extreme changes in exchange rates suggest that the usual assumption of log-normality may fail to capture the excess kurtosis of excess returns. The model is therefore also estimated assuming a log t-distribution. It is notoriously difficult to achieve convergence in multi-variate GARCH models, and GARCH-in-mean effects increase the difficulty. This is a major limitation in the practicality of the whole approach. It is shown that assuming constant correlation greatly simplifies the estimation without sacrificing any essential elements. Tests are conducted to enable a comparison of different SDF models, different market structures, different attitudes to risk, and differences between the SDF model and the Fama approach. The empirical work is based on monthly data for the sterling-dollar exchange rate 1975-1997. Our main new finding is that the evidence is more consistent with the FOREX risk premium arising from traditional partial equilibrium models of currency risk that form the basis of hedging than with consumption-CAPM, a general equilibrium theory. In particular, US and UK output appear to be important sources of FOREX risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 01/13.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:01/13

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Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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Fax: (0)1904 323759
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Keywords: FOREX; market efficiency; risk premium; stochastic discount factors; GARCH.;

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Cited by:
  1. Flavin, T. J. & Wickens, M. R., 2003. "Macroeconomic influences on optimal asset allocation," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 207-231.
  2. Glenn Hoggarth & Steffen Sorensen & Lea Zicchino, 2005. "Stress tests of UK banks using a VAR approach," Bank of England working papers 282, Bank of England.
  3. P.N. Smith & S. Sorensen & M.R. Wickens, 2006. "The Asymmetric Effect Of The Business Cycle On The Relation Between Stock Market Returns And Their Volatility," CAMA Working Papers 2006-05, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  4. Groen, Jan J.J. & Balakrishnan, Ravi, 2006. "Asset price based estimates of sterling exchange rate risk premia," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 71-92, February.
  5. Alexis Derviz & Narcisa Kadlcáková, 2005. "Business cycle, credit risk and economic capital determination by commercial banks," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Investigating the relationship between the financial and real economy, volume 22, pages 299-327 Bank for International Settlements.
  6. Peter N Smith & Steffen Sorensen & Mike Wickens, 2007. "The Asymmetric Effect of the Business Cycle on the Equity Premium (This is an extensively revised version of earlier paper No. 06/04)," Discussion Papers 07/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Jan Brùha & Alexis Derviz, 2006. "Macroeconomic Factors and the Balanced Value of the Czech Koruna/Euro Exchange Rate (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 56(7-8), pages 318-343, July.
  8. Kocenda, Evzen & Poghosyan, Tigran, 2009. "Macroeconomic sources of foreign exchange risk in new EU members," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2164-2173, November.
  9. Tigran Poghosyan & Evzen Kocenda, 2006. "Foreign Exchange Risk Premium Determinants: Case of Armenia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp811, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Charles Goodhart & Lavan Mahadeva & John Spicer, 2003. "Monetary policy's effects during the financial crises in Brazil and Korea," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 55-79.
  11. Renatas Kizys & Peter Spencer, 2007. "Assessing the Relation between Equity Risk Premia and Macroeconomic Volatilities," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 140, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  12. Thomas J. Flavin & Michael R. Wickens, 2001. "A Risk Management Approach to Optimal Asset Allocation," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1080301, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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