Past Nomura Seminar

3 June 2014
12:30
Rohit Rahi
Abstract
We consider the market for a risky asset for which agents have interdependent private valuations. We study competitive rational expectations equilibria under the standard CARA-normal assumptions. Equilibrium is partially revealing even though there are no noise traders. Complementarities in information acquisition arise naturally in this setting. We characterize stable equilibria with endogenous information acquisition. Our framework encompasses the classical REE models in the CARA-normal tradition.
22 May 2014
16:00
to
17:30
Possamaï Dylan
Abstract
We consider a contracting problem in which a principal hires an agent to manage a risky project. When the agent chooses volatility components of the output process and the principal observes the output continuously, the principal can compute the quadratic variation of the output, but not the individual components. This leads to moral hazard with respect to the risk choices of the agent. Using a very recent theory of singular changes of measures for Ito processes, we formulate the principal-agent problem in this context, and solve it in the case of CARA preferences. In that case, the optimal contract is linear in these factors: the contractible sources of risk, including the output, the quadratic variation of the output and the cross-variations between the output and the contractible risk sources. Thus, path-dependent contracts naturally arise when there is moral hazard with respect to risk management. This is a joint work with Nizar Touzi (CMAP, Ecole Polytechnique) and Jaksa Cvitanic (Caltech).
15 May 2014
16:00
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17:30
Suleyman Basak
Abstract
A sharp increase in the popularity of commodity investing in the past decade has triggered an unprecedented inflow of institutional funds into commodity futures markets. Such financialization of commodities coincided with significant booms and busts in commodity markets, raising concerns of policymakers. In this paper, we explore the effects of financialization in a model that features institutional investors alongside traditional futures markets participants. The institutional investors care about their performance relative to a commodity index. We find that if a commodity futures is included in the index, supply and demand shocks specific to that commodity spill over to all other commodity futures markets. In contrast, supply and demand shocks to a nonindex commodity affect just that commodity market alone. Moreover, prices and volatilities of all commodity futures go up, but more so for the index futures than for nonindex ones. Furthermore, financialization — the presence of institutional investors — leads to an increase in correlations amongst commodity futures as well as in equity-commodity correlations. Consistent with empirical evidence, the increases in the correlations between index commodities exceed those for nonindex ones. We model explicitly demand shocks which allows us to disentangle the effects of financialization from the effects of demand and supply (fundamentals). We perform a simple calibration and find that financialization accounts for 11% to 17% of commodity futures prices and the rest is attributable to fundamentals.
8 May 2014
16:00
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17:30
Mitja Stadje
Abstract
We consider evaluation methods for payoffs with an inherent financial risk as encountered for instance for portfolios held by pension funds and insurance companies. Pricing such payoffs in a way consistent to market prices typically involves combining actuarial techniques with methods from mathematical finance. We propose to extend standard actuarial principles by a new market-consistent evaluation procedure which we call `two step market evaluation.' This procedure preserves the structure of standard evaluation techniques and has many other appealing properties. We give a complete axiomatic characterization for two step market evaluations. We show further that in a dynamic setting with continuous stock prices every evaluation which is time-consistent and market-consistent is a two step market evaluation. We also give characterization results and examples in terms of $g$-expectations in a Brownian-Poisson setting.
1 May 2014
16:00
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17:30
Thorsten Hens
Abstract
We present a new model of financial markets that studies the evolution of wealth among investment strategies. An investment strategy can be generated by maximizing utility given some expectations or by behavioral rules. The only requirement is that any investment strategy is adapted to the information filtration. The model has the mathematical structure of a random dynamical system. We solve the model by characterizing evolutionary properties of investment strategies (survival, evolutionary stability, dominance). It turns out that only a fundamental strategy investing according to expected relative dividends satisfies these evolutionary criteria.
13 March 2014
16:00
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17:30
Alfredo Ibanez
Abstract
We study lower- and dual upper-bounds for Bermudan options in a MonteCarlo/MC setting and provide four contributions. 1) We introduce a local least-squares MC method, based on maximizing the Bermudan price and which provides a lower-bound, which "also" minimizes (not the dual upper-bound itself, but) the gap between these two bounds; where both bounds are specified recursively. 2) We confirm that this method is near optimal, for both lower- and upper-bounds, by pricing Bermudan max-call options subject to an up-and-out barrier; state-of-the-art methods including Longstaff-Schwartz produce a large gap of 100--200 basis points/bps (Desai et al. (2012)), which we reduce to just 5--15 bps (using the same linear basis of functions). 3) For dual upper-bounds based on continuation values (more biased but less time intensive), it works best to reestimate the continuation value in the continuation region only. And 4) the difference between the Bermudan option Delta and the intrinsic value slope at the exercise boundary gives the sensitivity to suboptimal exercise (up to a 2nd-order Taylor approximation). The up-and-out feature flattens the Bermudan price, lowering the Bermudan Delta well below one when the call-payoff slope is equal to one, which implies that optimal exercise "really" matters.
6 March 2014
16:00
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17:30
Alvaro Cartea
Abstract
We propose a model where an algorithmic trader takes a view on the distribution of prices at a future date and then decides how to trade in the direction of her predictions using the optimal mix of market and limit orders. As time goes by, the trader learns from changes in prices and updates her predictions to tweak her strategy. Compared to a trader that cannot learn from market dynamics or form a view of the market, the algorithmic trader's profits are higher and more certain. Even though the trader executes a strategy based on a directional view, the sources of profits are both from making the spread as well as capital appreciation of inventories. Higher volatility of prices considerably impairs the trader's ability to learn from price innovations, but this adverse effect can be circumvented by learning from a collection of assets that co-move.
27 February 2014
16:00
to
17:30
Johanna Ziegel
Abstract
The risk of a financial position is usually summarized by a risk measure. As this risk measure has to be estimated from historical data, it is important to be able to verify and compare competing estimation procedures. In statistical decision theory, risk measures for which such verification and comparison is possible, are called elicitable. It is known that quantile based risk measures such as value-at-risk are elicitable. However, the coherent risk measure expected shortfall is not elicitable. Hence, it is unclear how to perform forecast verification or comparison. We address the question whether coherent and elicitable risk measures exist (other than minus the expected value). We show that one positive answer are expectiles, and that they play a special role amongst all elicitable law-invariant coherent risk measures.

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