IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed006/864.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Returns to Currency Speculation

Author

Listed:
  • Craig Burnside

    () (Department of Economics Duke University)

  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Isaac Kleshchelski
  • Sergio Rebelo

Abstract

Currencies that are at a forward premium tend to depreciate. This `forward premium-depreciation anomaly' represents an egregious deviation from uncovered interest parity. We document the returns to currency speculation strategies that exploit this anomaly. The first strategy, known as the carry trade, is widely used by practitioners. This strategy involves selling currencies forward that are at a forward premium and buying those that are at a forward discount. The second strategy relies on a particular regression to forecast the payoff to selling currencies forward. We show that these strategies yield high Sharpe ratios which are not a compensation for risk. However, these Sharpe ratios do not represent unexploited profit opportunities. In the presence of microstructure frictions, spot and forward exchange rates move against traders as they increase their positions. The resulting `price pressure' drives a wedge between average and marginal Sharpe ratios. We argue that marginal Sharpe ratios are zero even though average Sharpe ratios are positive. We display a simple microstructure model that simultaneously rationalizes `price pressure' and the forward premium-depreciation puzzle. The central feature of this model is that market makers face an adverse selection problem that is less severe when, based on public information, the currency is expected to appreciate

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "The Returns to Currency Speculation," 2006 Meeting Papers 864, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:864
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.org/sed2006/up.23910.1140061164.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin D.D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2017. "Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies in Foreign Exchange Economics, chapter 6, pages 247-290 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Taylor, Mark P, 1989. "Covered Interest Arbitrage and Market Turbulence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 376-391, June.
    4. H. Henry Cao & Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2017. "Inventory Information," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies in Foreign Exchange Economics, chapter 9, pages 363-413 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Stoll, Hans R, 1978. "The Supply of Dealer Services in Securities Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1133-1151, September.
    6. Richard Roll & Shu Yan, 2000. "An explanation of the forward premium 'puzzle'," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 6(2), pages 121-148.
    7. Taylor, Mark P, 1987. "Covered Interest Parity: A High-Frequency, High-Quality Data Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(216), pages 429-438, November.
    8. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Jonathan A. Parker & Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Luxury Goods and the Equity Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2959-3004, December.
    9. Richard K. Lyons, 2006. "The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262205x.
    10. McCallum, Bennett T., 1994. "A reconsideration of the uncovered interest parity relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 105-132, February.
    11. Grilli, Vittorio & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Liquidity and exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 339-352, May.
    12. Engel, Charles, 1996. "The forward discount anomaly and the risk premium: A survey of recent evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-192, June.
    13. Backus, David K & Gregory, Allan W & Telmer, Chris I, 1993. " Accounting for Forward Rates in Markets for Foreign Currency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1887-1908, December.
    14. Berger, David W. & Chaboud, Alain P. & Chernenko, Sergey V. & Howorka, Edward & Wright, Jonathan H., 2008. "Order flow and exchange rate dynamics in electronic brokerage system data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 93-109, May.
    15. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    16. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2009. "Time-Varying Risk, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 851-878.
    17. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    18. Schlagenhauf, Don E. & Wrase, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Liquidity and real activity in a simple open economy model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 431-461, June.
    19. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
    20. Alex Maynard, 2003. "Testing for Forward-Rate Unbiasedness: On Regression in Levels and in Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 313-327, May.
    21. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546.
    22. Bansal, Ravi & Dahlquist, Magnus, 2000. "The forward premium puzzle: different tales from developed and emerging economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 115-144, June.
    23. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Understanding the Forward Premium Puzzle: A Microstructure Approach," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 127-154, July.
    24. David K. Backus, 2001. "Affine Term Structure Models and the Forward Premium Anomaly," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 279-304, February.
    25. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    26. Gabriele Galati & Michael Melvin, 2004. "Why has FX trading surged?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
    27. Clinton, Kevin, 1988. "Transactions Costs and Covered Interest Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 358-370, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncovered interest parity; BGT regressions; price pressure;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed006:864. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.