White Papers

Connecting the Dots: Economic Networks as Property Graphs

Connecting the Dots: Economic Networks as Property Graphs

Reading Time: 0 min.
Connecting the Dots: Economic Networks as Property Graphs We develop a quantitative framework that approaches economic networks from the point of view of contractual relationships between agents (and the interdependencies those generate). The representation of agent properties, transactions and contracts is done in the a context of a property graph. A typical use case for the proposed framework is the study of credit networks. You can find the white paper here: (OpenRiskWP08_131219)
Comparing IFRS 9 and CECL provision volatility

Comparing IFRS 9 and CECL provision volatility

Reading Time: 8 min.
Is the IFRS 9 or CECL standard more volatile? Its all relative Objective In this study we compare the volatility of reported profit-and-loss (PnL) for credit portfolios when those are measured (accounted for) following respectively the IFRS 9 and CECL accounting standards. The objective is to assess the impact of a key methodological difference between the two standards, the so-called Staging approach of IFRS 9. There are further explicit differences in the two standards.
Credit Portfolio PnL volatility under IFRS 9 and CECL

Credit Portfolio PnL volatility under IFRS 9 and CECL

Reading Time: 2 min.
Credit Portfolio PnL volatility under IFRS 9 and CECL Objective We explore conceptually a selection of key structural drivers of profit-and-loss (PnL) volatility for credit portfolios when profitability is measured following the principles underpinning the new IFRS 9 / CECL standards Methodology We setup stylized calculations for a credit portfolio with the following main parameters and assumptions: A portfolio of 200 commercial loans of uniform size and credit quality Maturities extending from one to five annual periods A stylized transition matrix producing typical multiyear credit curves Correlation between assets typical for a single business sector and geography portfolio Focusing on PnL estimates one year forward, with PnL being impacted both by Realized Losses (defaults) and Provision variability (both positive and negative).
Credit Portfolio Management in the IFRS 9 / CECL and Stress Testing Era

Credit Portfolio Management in the IFRS 9 / CECL and Stress Testing Era

Reading Time: 3 min.
Credit Portfolio Management in the IFRS 9 / CECL and Stress Testing Era The post-crisis world presents portfolio managers with the significant challenge to asimilate in day-to-day management the variety of conceptual frameworks now simultaneously applicable in the assessment of portfolio credit risk: The first major strand is the widespread application of regulatory stress testing methodologies in the estimation of regulatory risk capital requirements The second major strand is the introduction of new accounting standards (IFRS 9 / CECL) for the measurement and disclosure of expected credit losses
IFRS 9 Expected Credit Loss and Risk Capital

IFRS 9 Expected Credit Loss and Risk Capital

Reading Time: 5 min.
The new IFRS 9 financial reporting standard IFRS 9 (and the closely related CECL) is a brand new financial reporting standard developed and approved by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Strictly speaking IFRS 9 concerns only the accounting and reporting of financial instruments (e.g. bank loans and similar credit products). Yet the introduction of the IFRS 9 standard has significant repercussions beyond financial reporting, and touches e.g., bank risk management as well.
A Risk Agnostic Approach to European Safe Bonds (ESBies) Tranching

A Risk Agnostic Approach to European Safe Bonds (ESBies) Tranching

Reading Time: 8 min.
What are European Safe Bonds? While the creation of the eurozone was a landmark of the European integration process, the financial crisis highlighted that the eurozone remains an incomplete design which can lead to unpredictable and adverse situations in the event of a (the) next major crisis. One of the key such “incompleteness” features of the current eurozone architecture is that it does not have a truly risk-free (safe) euro debt instrument: one that continues being serviced (avoids a default event) at virtually any point in time and state of the world, no matter how severe.
Risk Capital for Non-Performing Loans

Risk Capital for Non-Performing Loans

Reading Time: 2 min.
Risk Capital for Non-Performing Loans Currently many countries are drowning in bad credits This visualization from the World Bank shows the current distribution of non-performing loans (NPL’s in short) around the world, as fraction of the total outstanding loans: Translated in absolute numbers (according to IMF data) the European NPL book alone stands at around 1 trillion EUR. As the adage goes, a trillion here, a trillion there, you pretty soon talk about serious money…
From Big Data, to Linked Data and Linked Models

From Big Data, to Linked Data and Linked Models

Reading Time: 5 min.
From Big Data, to Linked Data and Linked Models The big data problem: “As certainly as the sun will set today, the big data explosion will lead to a big clean-up mess” How do we know? We only have to study the still smouldering last chapter of banking industry history. Currently banks are portrayed as something akin to the village idiot as far as technology adoption is concerned, and there is certainly a nugget of truth to this.
FX Lending Risk

FX Lending Risk

Reading Time: 3 min.
FX Lending Risk A stress testing methodology for analyzing FX lending risk. Extends standard credit risk modelling tools to capture the increased risks of FX lending in a consistent way Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction Warren Buffet famously declared financial derivatives as weapons of mass destruction (although apparently this did not prohibit him from using them when convenient). The leverage afforded by such contracts, their potential complexity, or simply their novelty which may imply lack of understanding, are some reasons why one would classify them as potential contributors of systemic risk, which is a polished rephrasing of the more popular “this sucker is going down” quote.
Business Model Risk

Business Model Risk

Reading Time: 4 min.
Business Model Risk: The Forgotten Risk Type Sustainable business models that demonstrate adequate profitability over long horizons are key to a healthy market economy. This applies to firms and organizations of any size and in any sector. But how do we determine what is sustainable and how can we tell a risky business structure from a stable one? On the small-scale end of the size spectrum we have the domain of startups and SME’s.
Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API

Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API

Reading Time: 8 min.
Seven Heavens of Finance and the Open Risk API Back-to-basics is not salvation It has become trendy since the financial crisis to be wearing an “anti-complexity” hat in matters concerning the shape of the financial system. This is an understandable reaction to the entangled constructions that had sprung to existence in the hyper-leveraged markets of the “naughty noughties”. Yet shifting through the ruminations and proclamations one cannot help but get the impression that there is a sort of denial of the complexity that underlies the real economy.
Unbundling the Banks: A How To Guide

Unbundling the Banks: A How To Guide

Reading Time: 5 min.
Unbundling the Banks: A How To Guide Talk of unbundling the banks is all the rage these days (if we believe the fintech startups). Yet upon closer inspection one gets the feeling that these optimistic people might not necessarily know exactly what they are trying to unbundle, the true complexity of a medium to large bank, which in turn reflects, at least in part, the complexity of our modern financial system.
Open Risk API

Open Risk API

Reading Time: 3 min.
Open Risk API If you work in financial risk management you will most likely recognize where the following sentence is coming from: “One of the most significant lessons learned from the global financial crisis that began in 2007 was that banks information technology (IT) and data architectures were inadequate to support the broad management of financial risks […] This had severe consequences to the banks themselves and to the stability of the financial system as a whole” For those lucky few risk managers not being affected by inadequate IT systems, the excerpt is from the Basel Committee’s “Principles for effective risk data aggregation and risk reporting” (2013).
The mystery of the collapsed cathedral

The mystery of the collapsed cathedral

Reading Time: 6 min.
The mystery of the collapsed cathedral You walk to the center of an old city and you see its glorious cathedral lying in ruins. What in the world has happened here? Your investigative instinct goes into overdrive. This is not supposed to happen. Not in peacetime anyway. How can it be that this magnificent edifice, after gracing the town’s central square for who knows how many centuries, is now little more than a rubble pile in the center of town?
Revisiting simple concentration indexes

Revisiting simple concentration indexes

Reading Time: 1 min.
Revisiting simple concentration indexes Our white paper “Revisiting simple concentration indexes” reviews the definitions of widely used concentration metrics such as the concentration ratio, the HHI index and the Gini and clarify their meaning and relationships. This new analytic framework helps clarify the apparent arbitrariness of simple concentration indexes and brings to the fore the underlying unifying concept behind these metrics, thereby enabling their more informed use in portfolio and risk management applications.

Open Risk Commentary on Simple Securitisations

Reading Time: 4 min.
Criteria for identifying simple, transparent and comparable securitisations (See BIS D304) Our view is that securitisation is fundamental financial technology and there is no intrinsic technical reason why it could not be harnessed to best serve the functioning of modern economies. We believe, though, that a comprehensive overhaul of historical securitisation practices is the best means of addressing the stigma that has been attached to it in the follow up to the recent financial crisis.
Open Risk Overview

Open Risk Overview

Reading Time: 0 min.
Open Risk Presentation summarizing the Public Beta Phase Overview of the motivation for initiating Open Risk and the solutions being delivered in the current phase. Venue: Online Location: The world Time: September 18th 2014 Link to presentation: Open Risk Overview
Benchmarking and the future use of internal capital models

Benchmarking and the future use of internal capital models

Reading Time: 0 min.
The rationale for continuing with internal capital models in the Basel 3 world Overview of the challenges and opportunities offered by internal capital models (economic capital models) in the post-crisis era. Conference Presentation given at: Venue: 2nd Annual Capital Modelling under Basel III (Marcus Evans Conference) Location: London Time: January 28th 2014 Link to presentation: Local file