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A coherent framework for stress-testing

  • Jeremy Berkowitz
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    In recent months and years both practitioners and regulators have embraced the ideal of supplementing VaR estimates with "stress-testing". Risk managers are beginning to place an emphasis and expend resources on developing more and better stress-tests. In the present paper, we hold the standard approach to stress-testing up to a critical light. The current practice is to stress-test outside the basic risk model. Such an approach yields two sets of forecasts -- one from the stress-tests and one from the basic model. The stress scenarios, conducted outside the model, are never explicitly assigned probabilities. As such, there is no guidance as to the importance or revelance of the results of stress-tests. Moreover, how to combine the two forecasts into a usable risk metric is not known. Instead, we suggest folding the stress-tests into the risk model, thereby requiring all scenarios to be assigned probabilities.

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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199929/199929abs.html
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199929/199929pap.pdf
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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1999-29.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-29
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    1. Brian H. Boyer & Michael S. Gibson & Mico Loretan, 1997. "Pitfalls in tests for changes in correlations," International Finance Discussion Papers 597, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Jeremy Berkowitz, 1999. "Evaluating the forecasts of risk models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Christoffersen, Peter F, 1998. "Evaluating Interval Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 841-62, November.
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