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Risk & returns around FOMC press conferences: a novel perspective from computer vision


  • Alexis Marchal


I propose a new tool to characterize the resolution of uncertainty around FOMC press conferences. It relies on the construction of a measure capturing the level of discussion complexity between the Fed Chair and reporters during the Q&A sessions. I show that complex discussions are associated with higher equity returns and a drop in realized volatility. The method creates an attention score by quantifying how much the Chair needs to rely on reading internal documents to be able to answer a question. This is accomplished by building a novel dataset of video images of the press conferences and leveraging recent deep learning algorithms from computer vision. This alternative data provides new information on nonverbal communication that cannot be extracted from the widely analyzed FOMC transcripts. This paper can be seen as a proof of concept that certain videos contain valuable information for the study of financial markets.

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  • Alexis Marchal, 2020. "Risk & returns around FOMC press conferences: a novel perspective from computer vision," Papers 2012.06573,, revised Jan 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2012.06573

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kurov, Alexander & Wolfe, Marketa Halova & Gilbert, Thomas, 2021. "The disappearing pre-FOMC announcement drift," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
    2. David O. Lucca & Emanuel Moench, 2015. "The Pre-FOMC Announcement Drift," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 329-371, February.
    3. Savor, Pavel & Wilson, Mungo, 2013. "How Much Do Investors Care About Macroeconomic Risk? Evidence from Scheduled Economic Announcements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 343-375, April.
    4. Anna, Petrenko, 2016. "Мaркування готової продукції як складова частина інформаційного забезпечення маркетингової діяльності підприємств овочепродуктового підкомплексу," Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, vol. 2(1), March.
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