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The sovereignty option: the Quebec referendum and market views on the Canadian dollar

  • Michael P. Leahy
  • Charles P. Thomas
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    We use exchange traded options on Canadian dollar futures to estimate the market's risk-neutral distribution for the Canadian dollar in the days before and after the Quebec sovereignty referendum. We employ a relatively new technique that places little a priori structure on the estimated distribution. This lack of structure allows the estimated distribution to reflect the multi-modal nature of expectations associated with the referendum's results. The technique is especially suited to circumstances in which a particular event will reduce a large degree of uncertainty prior to the expiration date of the options. Our estimated distributions are consistent with a significant perceived probability that the Canadian dollar would move up or down by as much as 5 percent as a result of the vote.

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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 555.

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    Date of creation: 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:555
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    1. William R. Melick & Charles P. Thomas, 1996. "Using options prices to infer PDF'S for asset prices: an application to oil prices during the Gulf crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 541, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
    3. Barone-Adesi, Giovanni & Whaley, Robert E, 1987. " Efficient Analytic Approximation of American Option Values," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 301-20, June.
    4. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, . "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," CRSP working papers 332, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    5. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
    6. Neuhaus, Holger, 1995. "The information content of derivatives for monetary policy: Implied volatilities and probabilities," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1995,03e, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    7. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
    8. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    9. Bates, D.S., 1990. "The Crash Of '87: Was It Expected? The Evidence From Options Markets," Weiss Center Working Papers 28-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
    10. Black, Fischer, 1976. "The pricing of commodity contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 167-179.
    11. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-51, October.
    12. Allan M. Malz, 1995. "Using option prices to estimate realignment probabilities in the European Monetary System," Staff Reports 5, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    13. David S. Bates, . "The Crash of '87: Was it Expected? The Evidence from Options Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 28-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    14. William R. Melick & Charles P. Thomas, 1992. "War and peace: recovering the market's probability distribution of crude oil futures prices during the Gulf crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 437, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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