Modelling Macroeconomic Risk: The Genesis of the European Debt Crisis
Gregor von Schweinitz
Diverging European sovereign bond yields after 2008 are the most visible sign of the European debt crisis. This dissertation examines in a first step, to which extent the development of yields is driven by credit and liquidity risk, and how it is influenced by general uncertainty on financial markets. It can be shown that yields are driven to a significant degree by a flight towards bonds of high liquidity in times of high market uncertainty. In a second step, high yields are interpreted as a sign of an existing crisis in the respective country. Using the signals approach, the early-warning capabilities of four different proposals for the design of the scoreboard as part of the “Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure” (introduced in December 2011 by the European Commission) are tested, advocating a scoreboard including a variety of many different indicators. In a third step, the methodology of the signals approach is extended to include also results on significance.
The Financial Crisis from a Forecaster’s Perspective
Katja Drechsel, Rolf Scheufele
This paper analyses the recession in 2008/2009 in Germany, which is very different from previous recessions, in particular regarding its cause and magnitude. We show to what extent forecasters and forecasts based on leading indicators fail to detect the timing and the magnitude of the recession. This study shows that large forecast errors for both expert forecasts and forecasts based on leading indicators resulted during this recession which implies that the recession was very difficult to forecast. However, some leading indicators (survey data, risk spreads, stock prices) have indicated an economic downturn and hence, beat univariate time series models. Although the combination of individual forecasts provides an improvement compared to the benchmark model, the combined forecasts are worse than several individual models. A comparison of expert forecasts with the best forecasts based on leading indicators shows only minor deviations. Overall, the range for an improvement of expert forecasts during the crisis compared to indicator forecasts is relatively small.
Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession
Katja Drechsel, Rolf Scheufele
The paper analyzes leading indicators for GDP and industrial production in Germany. We focus on the performance of single and pooled leading indicators during the pre-crisis and crisis period using various weighting schemes. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we use an end-of-sample instability test to investigate the stability of forecasting models during the recent financial crisis. We find in general that only a small number of single indicator models were performing well before the crisis. Pooling can substantially increase the reliability of leading indicator forecasts. During the crisis the relative performance of many leading indicator models increased. At short horizons, survey indicators perform best, while at longer horizons financial indicators, such as term spreads and risk spreads, improve relative to the benchmark.
Equity and Bond Market Signals as Leading Indicators of Bank Fragility
Reint E. Gropp, Jukka M. Vesala, Giuseppe Vulpes
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
We analyse the ability of the distance to default and subordinated bond spreads to signal bank fragility in a sample of EU banks. We find leading properties for both indicators. The distance to default exhibits lead times of 6-18 months. Spreads have signal value close to problems only. We also find that implicit safety nets weaken the predictive power of spreads. Further, the results suggest complementarity between both indicators. We also examine the interaction of the indicators with other information and find that their additional information content may be small but not insignificant. The results suggest that market indicators reduce type II errors relative to predictions based on accounting information only.
Composite Leading Indicators der amerikanischen Wirtschaft - Prognosegüte des Conference Board und des OECD Ansatzes im Vergleich
IWH Discussion Papers,
The Paper analyses both the Conference Board as well as the OECD Leading Indicators concerning their forecasting properties of overall economic activity. For this purpose the two indicators are introduced separately and several in-sample and out-of-sample tests are being conducted. The main focus, apart from other methods, is being laid on coherence tests as well as the Diebold/Mariano test. In contrast to many other analyses dealing with this topic, the chosen reference series is not industrial production, but rather the coincident index, as reported by the conference board. It seems as if both indicators show some sign of correlation to overall economic activity, but at the same time fail to improve on the forecasts of a simple time series model.