Fall 2020

Evans Hall

SEM217: Ruoxuan Xiong, Stanford: Large Dimensional Latent Factor Modeling with Missing Observations and Applications to Causal Inference

Tuesday, September 1 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: This paper develops the inferential theory for latent factor models estimated from large dimensional panel data with missing observations. We estimate a latent factor model by applying principal component analysis to an adjusted covariance matrix estimated from partially observed panel data. 

Dangxing Chen photo

SEM217: Dangxing Chen, UC Berkeley: Modeling the dynamics of the realized variance based on high-frequency data

Tuesday, September 8 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: This paper studies in some detail a class of continuous-time stochastic volatility models. These models are direct models of daily asset return volatility based on realized measures constructed from high-frequency data.

Evans Hall

SEM217: Philip Stark, UC Berkeley: Evidence-Based Elections

Tuesday, September 15 @ 11:00 - 1:00 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: Elections rely on people, hardware, and software, all of which are fallible and subject to manipulation. Well resourced nation-states continue to attack U.S. elections. Voting equipment is built by private vendors–some foreign, but all using foreign parts. 

Evans Hall

SEM217: Marco Avellaneda, NYU: Hierarchical PCA and modeling asset correlations

Tuesday, September 22 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: Modeling return correlations between thousands of stocks poses great challenges, as empirical estimators tend to perform poorly when assets don’t share common risk factors, such as country or industry sector. In this paper, we show the advantages of using Hierarchical Principal Component Analysis (HPCA) for modeling correlations, as opposed to the classic PCA.

Ola Mahmoud photo

SEM217: Ola Mahmoud, University of Basel: The Anatomy of Sustainability

Tuesday, September 29 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: We present evidence that sustainability is inextricably linked with market-implied uncertainty. We derive an econometric decomposition of sustainability ratings yielding three orthogonal components capturing uncertainty, investor sentiment, and an idiosyncratic sustainability factor.

SEM217: Samim Ghamami, Financial Services Forum: The Impact of Collateral and Stays on Financial Stability

Tuesday, October 6 @ 11:00 am12:30 pm (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: We study the spread of losses and defaults in financial networks with two features: collateral requirements and resolution and bankruptcy stay rules. When collateral is committed to a firm’s counterparties, a solvent firm may default if it lacks sufficient liquid assets to meet its payment obligations. 

Evans Hall

SEM217: Xiaowu Dai & Saad Mouti, UC Berkeley: A resampling approach for causal inference on two-point time-series with application to identify risk factors for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Tuesday, October 13 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: Two-point time-series data, characterized by baseline and follow-up observations, are frequently encountered in health research. In analyzing such time-series data, the two-point pattern must be adequately accounted to balance the trade-off between efficient inference and estimation bias.

Evans Hall

SEM217: Othmane Mounjid, École Polytechnique: Improving reinforcement learning algorithms using an optimal learning rate policy

Tuesday, October 20 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: We investigate to what extent one can improve reinforcement learning algorithms. For this, we first show that the classical asymptotic convergence rate O(1/√N) is pessimistic and can be replaced by O((log(N)/N)^Beta) with Beta in [0.5,1] and N the number of iterations. Second, we propose a dynamic optimal policy for the choice of the learning rate. 

Evans Hall

SEM217: Zhipu Zhou, UC Santa Barbara: Endogenous Representation of Asset Returns

Tuesday, October 27 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: Factor modeling of asset returns has been a dominant practice in investment science since the introduction of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). The factors, which account for the systematic risk, are either specified or interpreted to be exogenous.

Tingyue Gan photo

SEM217: Tingyue Gan, UC Berkeley: Machine-Assisted Mini-Scene Writing

Tuesday, November 10 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

Jeff Bohn photo

SEM217: Jeff Bohn, Swiss Re: Boosting prediction performance for economic and market indicators

Tuesday, November 17 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: As risk, trading, strategy, and decision-support systems have become more deeply integrated into financial services firms’ workflows, predicting a collection of economic and market indicators becomes even more critical to support these systems than in the past. At the same time, the underlying processes that drive economies and markets have become increasingly dynamic given they are more likely to be subject to rapid successions of regime changes...

Evans Hall

SEM217: Hubeyb Gurdogan, Florida State University: Multi-Anchor Point Shrinkage for Better Betas

Tuesday, December 1 @ 11:00 - 12:30 PM (ONLINE)

ABSTRACT: We study a generalization of the GPS method and provide a class of estimators of beta that further improve the l_2 error and accuracy of the minimum variance portfolio weights. To do this we utilize additional observable information about the separation of betas into sub-collections where the betas in each sub-collection are close to each other.