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Recovering market expectations of FOMC rate changes with options on federal funds futures

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  • John B. Carlson
  • Ben R. Craig
  • William R. Melick

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how options on federal funds futures, which began trading in March 2003, can be used to recover the implied probability density function (PDF) for future Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate outcomes. The discrete nature of the choices made by the FOMC allows for a very straightforward recovery of the implied PDF using ordinary least squares (OLS) estimation. This simple recovery method stands in contrast to the relatively complicated PDF recovery techniques developed for options written on assets such as equities, foreign exchange, or commodity futures where the underlying prices are most appropriately modeled as being drawn from continuous distributions. The OLS estimation is used to recover PDFs for single FOMC meetings as well as PDFs for joint estimation of multiple FOMC meetings, and allows for the imposition of restrictions on the recovered probabilities, both within and across FOMC meetings. Finally, recovered probabilities are used to assess the impact of data releases and Fed communication on the perceived likelihood of actual policy outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Carlson & Ben R. Craig & William R. Melick, 2005. "Recovering market expectations of FOMC rate changes with options on federal funds futures," Working Papers (Old Series) 0507, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0507
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
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    7. Ed Nosal, 2001. "How well does the federal funds futures rate predict the future federal funds rate?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Oct.
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    9. Melick, William R. & Thomas, Charles P., 1997. "Recovering an Asset's Implied PDF from Option Prices: An Application to Crude Oil during the Gulf Crisis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 91-115, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jahangir Sultan, 2012. "Options on federal funds futures and interest rate volatility," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 330-359, April.
    2. Maarten van Oordt, 2017. "Which Model to Forecast the Target Rate?," Staff Working Papers 17-60, Bank of Canada.
    3. Husted, Lucas & Rogers, John & Sun, Bo, 2020. "Monetary policy uncertainty," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 20-36.
    4. Roberto Casarin & Fabrizio Leisen & German Molina & Enrique ter Horst, 2014. "A Bayesian Beta Markov Random Field Calibration of the Term Structure of Implied Risk Neutral Densities," Papers 1409.1956, arXiv.org.
    5. Renne, Jean-Paul, 2016. "A tractable interest rate model with explicit monetary policy rates," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 251(3), pages 873-887.
    6. John C. Williams, 2009. "Heeding Daedalus: Optimal Inflation and the Zero Lower Bound," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 1-49.
    7. Nikolay Gospodinov & Ibrahim Jamali, 2018. "Monetary policy uncertainty, positions of traders and changes in commodity futures prices," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 24(2), pages 239-260, March.
    8. Jukka Sihvonen & Sami Vähämaa, 2014. "Forward‐Looking Monetary Policy Rules and Option‐Implied Interest Rate Expectations," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(4), pages 346-373, April.
    9. Zhengyang Chen, 2019. "The Long-term Rate and Interest Rate Volatility in Monetary Policy Transmission," 2019 Papers pch1858, Job Market Papers.
    10. Amine Bouden, 2008. "The Behavior Of The Implied Volatility Surface: Evidence From Crude Oil Futures Options," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Mondher Bellalah & Jean-Luc Prigent & Jean-Michel Sahut & Georges Pariente & Olivier Levyne & Michel (ed.),Risk Management And Value Valuation and Asset Pricing, chapter 8, pages 151-175, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. William R. Emmons & Aeimit K. Lakdawala & Christopher J. Neely, 2006. "What are the odds? option-based forecasts of FOMC target changes," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 88(Nov), pages 543-562.
    12. Chen, Zhengyang, 2019. "The Long-term Rate and Interest Rate Volatility in Monetary Policy Transmission," EconStor Preprints 204579, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    13. Bo Young Chang & Bruno Feunou, 2013. "Measuring Uncertainty in Monetary Policy Using Implied Volatility and Realized Volatility," Staff Working Papers 13-37, Bank of Canada.

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    Keywords

    Federal Open Market Committee; Monetary policy; Interest rate futures;

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