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Systematic scenario selection: stress testing and the nature of uncertainty

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  • Mark D. Flood
  • George G. Korenko

Abstract

We present a technique for selecting multidimensional shock scenarios for use in financial stress testing. The methodology systematically enforces internal consistency among the shock dimensions by sampling points of arbitrary severity from a plausible joint probability distribution. The approach involves a grid search of sparse, well distributed, stress-test scenarios, which we regard as a middle ground between traditional stress testing and reverse stress testing. Choosing scenarios in this way reduces the danger of 'blind spots' in stress testing. We suggest extensions to address the issues of non-monotonic loss functions and univariate shocks. We provide tested and commented source code in Matlab-super-®.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark D. Flood & George G. Korenko, 2015. "Systematic scenario selection: stress testing and the nature of uncertainty," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 43-59, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:15:y:2015:i:1:p:43-59
    DOI: 10.1080/14697688.2014.926018
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    1. Paul Glasserman & Chulmin Kang & Wanmo Kang, 2013. "Stress Scenario Selection by Empirical Likelihood," Working Papers 13-07, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    2. Borio, Claudio & Drehmann, Mathias & Tsatsaronis, Kostas, 2014. "Stress-testing macro stress testing: Does it live up to expectations?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 3-15.
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    4. Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers & Mr. Matthew T Jones & Mr. Graham L Slack, 2004. "Stress Testing Financial Systems: What to Do When the Governor Calls," IMF Working Papers 2004/127, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Nan Chen & Paul Glasserman & Behzad Nouri & Markus Pelger, 2013. "CoCos, Bail-In, and Tail Risk," Working Papers 13-04, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    6. Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria & Mr. Giovanni Majnoni & Mr. Matthew T Jones & Mr. Winfrid Blaschke, 2001. "Stress Testing of Financial Systems: An Overview of Issues, Methodologies, and FSAP Experiences," IMF Working Papers 2001/088, International Monetary Fund.
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