Financial Risk Management And Reccomendations For Orange County Finance Essay

Orange County is a comfortable territory in California. In December 1994, due to a big loss ( $ 1.64 billion ) , Orange County declared bankruptcy. This study will foremost present the trading scheme employed by Orange County. Then the relationship between the portfolio and the purchase ratio will be introduced. In portion three, the loss will be calculated by continuance estimate to compare with the existent loss. Furthermore, two methods will be used to cipher the monthly value at hazard ( VaR ) . By utilizing root-T regulation, the monthly VaR will be transformed to yearly VaR. Then the exponentially leaden traveling norm ( EWMA ) theoretical account will be introduced. In the following subdivision, backtesting will be used to gauge whether the VaR prognosis based on the EWMA is accurate. Finally, two recommendations will be given.

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Trading Scheme

Due to the successful public presentation of trading scheme employed by Robert Citron in 1992 and 1993, his trade took a significantly of import function in Orange County ‘s budget. In 1994, Robert Citron so was re-elected by Orange County as its Treasurer. Robert Citron raised the investing fund of $ 13 billion from Reverse Repurchase Agreements ( repo market ) , which is on a short term. With initial investing pool of $ 7.5 billion, Robert Citron had a entire fund of $ 20.5 billion, which chiefly had been invested in fixed income securities ( $ 11.9 billion ) and structured notes ( $ 7.8 billion ) . And both of them are considered as the long adulthood instruments. Therefore, the trading scheme of Robert Citron is to utilize the returns from short the short short-run fixed-income instrument to hanker the long-run instrument ( Hull, 2009 ) . From the balance sheet, he invested to a great extent in reverse musca volitanss, which pay a rate of involvement equal to a fixed rate ( Fixed-income securities ) minus a natation rate ( Structured notes ) . Therefore, it can be seen that he employed the trading scheme of “ a output curve drama ” . The purpose of this scheme is to capture the big differences of output curve between short term and long-run instruments. This trading scheme can merely work when the term construction of involvement rate is level or upward sloping, so that Orange County can borrow at a low rate of involvement and put at a well higher rate. From 1989 to 1992, the steady diminution of U.S. involvement rates is the chief ground that the Orange County ‘s portfolio can hold a big addition. However, the value of longer adulthood debt instruments can alter dramatically if involvement rates alterations, therefore a rise in the long-run rates could make a significant capital loss for Orange County on the invested financess ( Kolb and Overdahl, 2003 ) .

Leveraged Bond Portfolio and its Duration

This investing scheme was besides combined with significant purchase, which was leveraged by a factor of 2.7 ( ) . This purchase ratio indicates that the investor demand borrow an extra dollar of, when every excess dollar is raised in the investing pool. This is comparative higher grade of fiscal purchase. A higher purchase ratio has a positive impact on the earning per portion, which can increase the stockholder ‘s value. However, the company with higher purchase ratio will besides fight with high hazard. Therefore, with the place ( purchase ) of borrowing money in the repo market, Robert Citron ‘s investing portfolio can be considered as a leveraged bond portfolio, which will be much more sensitive to the alteration of the involvement rates. The ground will be discussed in the followerss.

The continuance of a bond is a step of how long on norm the holder of the bond has to wait before having hard currency payment. It is the manner to mensurate the sensitiveness of monetary value alterations ( volatility ) with the alterations in involvement rates. Furthermore, the continuance is besides a step that summarizes approximative response of bond monetary values to alter in outputs. In December 1994, the mean continuance of the securities in Orange County ‘s portfolio was 2.74. Therefore, the effectual continuance of the portfolio was ordinary continuance multiplied by purchase ratio ( Babble, Merrill and Panning, 1997 )


This big continuance denotes that there will be a high sensitiveness of the monetary value altering in bond when the involvement rate alterations.

Duration Estimate

Harmonizing to Hull ( 2009 ) , there is a equation to the relationship between bond monetary value B and bond output Y: . This equation will be about true if a little alteration. Therefore, the cardinal continuance relationship can be derived: , and D denotes the Bond continuance. This equation is based on the premise that Y is expressed with uninterrupted intensifying. If Y is expressed with one-year combination, will be the continuance approximate relationship between bond and its output, and is the modified continuance. Both equations show that there is a negative relation between B and Y. When bond outputs addition, bond monetary values lessening ( frailty versa ) .

In 1994, the Fed so tightened its recognition and raised the involvements by 3.5 % . We can utilize the modified continuance to cipher how much money that Orange County will loss in December 1994 with the output 7.83 % . The consequence is demoing below: . The Orange County will loss $ 1.80 billion. Compared with its existent loss of $ 1.64 billion, the difference between them is $ 0.16 billion, which is really near. The difference can be explained by the term of convexness. The continuance regulation is a good estimate for merely a little alteration in bond output, but less accurate for larger alterations ( Bodie, Kane and Marcus, 2008 ) . Figure 1 shows that the continuance estimate ever underestimates the value of the bond. The ground is the curvature of the true price-yield relationship. Therefore, continuance estimate will minimize the addition in bond monetary value when the output falls, and exaggerate the lessening in monetary value when the output rises. In decision continuance estimate is an accurate manner to cipher the monetary value alteration of the bond.

Actual Price

Duration Estimate

Change in YTM

Percentage Change in Bond Price

Figure 1: Convexity

Value at Risk


In this study, we foremost use the expression to transform the distinct compound outputs ( ) to continues compound outputs ( ) . Then we can bring forth the monthly alterations in output: . Then we can utilize the simple step of the volatility ( ) to cipher the volatility of the monthly alteration in outputs in December 1994, which is 0.003689. The volatility refers the spread of all likely results of an unsure variable. Figure 2 has shown the monthly output alteration from January 1953 to December 1994.

Concept of the VaR

The Value at Risk ( VaR ) is the hazard that provides a individual figure to sum up the entire hazard in a portfolio of fiscal assets. It can be merely described as “ it is Ten per centum certain that there will non be a loss of more than V dollars in the following yearss. ” In short, the VaR helps to foretell the worst loss during a certain period by supplying the assurance interval. The VaR assumes a state of affairs that the alteration of the value in the portfolio is about usually distributed ( Hull, 2009 ) . There are three methods to cipher the VaR, which are variance-covariance method, historical simulation method and Monte Carlo simulation method. In this subdivision, we will utilize variance-covariance method and historical simulation method to work out the instance of Orange County.

Variance-covariance Method

The basic expression for calculate VaR at 95 % assurance degree is, 1.65 is the critical value in 5 % important degree. When we know the initial place ( ) in the portfolio and the portfolio volatility, and VaR can be calculated. Therefore, the purpose of Variance-covariance Method is to gauge the volatility or the correlativity of the assets in the portfolio. Cuthbertson and Nitzsche ( 2001 ) besides provide the relationship of volatility between monetary value alteration and output alteration for bond:


where N is adulthood of hard currency flow ( continuance ) . Therefore, , which means that it is assurance that merely 5 % of the clip will the loss be more than $ 0.3378 billion.

Historical Simulation Method

Historical Simulation Method uses by informations to construct a scenario for tomorrow ‘s monetary value alterations of the portfolio. In this procedure, a portfolio will be created based on the existent historical information, and the returns will besides be calculated. Then the VaR for this portfolio is estimated by making a conjectural clip series of its returns. Due to the VaR is determined by the existent monetary value motion in historical simulation, this method does non necessitate the premise of normalcy ( Kodapani, 2005 ) . However, historical simulation assumes that an equal weight has been carried by each twenty-four hours in the clip series, and historical informations will reiterate itself ( ibid ) . However, in world, some specific portfolios do non follow the premises.

Here, we have 505 monthly informations from 1953-1994, we plot these informations into the bin, which is the scope from -0.025 to 0.018 with the little moving norm of 0.001. Then, we generate each frequence in each little moving norm, and the Histogram has shown in Figure 3. We have already known the negative relationship between bond monetary value and bond output, hence we estimate the 95th percentile of monthly addition in the 5-year output, which is 0.00606. By utilizing this figure with the equation ( ) , we can acquire. This means that we are 95 per centum certain that there will non be a loss of more than $ 0.3118 billion in our portfolio in the undermentioned month.

Root T-rule and the VaR

We can utilize root T-rule to calculate the volatility during a longer period based on a shorter period. For illustration, we can utilize monthly volatility to bring forth annually volatility. The equation is, where i?? is the prognosis of the day-to-day criterion divergence and T is the figure of trading yearss in the prognosis skyline.

The premise for root T-rule is that day-to-day ( log ) monetary value alterations are identically and independently distributed ( i.i.d ) , which mean that the monetary values follow random walk and are non serially correlated ( Cuthbertson and Nitzsche, 2001 ) . However, in the world, the premise sometimes is non true. First, stock monetary value tends to be average backsliding, which means that the high stock monetary value and low stock monetary value are impermanent, and stock monetary value tend to hold an mean monetary value over clip. The other one is that the volatility of the monetary value alteration tends to be consecutive correlated. For case, the term of volatility constellating indicates that big alterations tend to be followed by big alterations, and little alterations are followed by little alterations.

When we adopt the root T-rule in the VaR, we need an excess premise of normalcy to presume our portfolio returns follow a normal distribution. Therefore, from root T-rule, we can hold the transmutation of the VaR between different clip skylines:


Therefore, for Variance-covariance Method, the monthly VaR will be


For Historical Simulation Method, it will be


However, these prognosis losingss are much smaller than the existent loss ( $ 1.64 billion ) , but it is still meaningful that this a figure denotes a comparative big loss and give the investor a warning for their hereafters investing.

The Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Model

The exponentially leaden traveling norm ( EWMA ) theoretical account is widely used to gauge the conditional volatility of plus returns, because of its simple and rapid calculations. The EWMA theoretical account requires the normalcy premise. The expression is


is the calculator of the volatility of the variable for twenty-four hours N, is the per centum alteration in that variable, and is the decay factor which is between 0 and 1. The expression can besides be transformed into

If m is big plenty, the last term can be ignored, and so the equation will be

( Hull, 2009 )

Therefore, the weights will worsen exponentially. For case, If, so the weights will follow the sequence of 0.94, 0.88, 0.83, etc, which means that past volatility will be given less weight than current prognosis discrepancy ( Cuthbertson and Nitzsche, 2001 ) . This makes the EWMA prognosis react fast to recent alterations in volatilities by giving the higher weight to recent events. Furthermore, the volatility prognosis from the EWMA theoretical account will worsen bit by bit after a sudden daze. plays a critical function in the EWMA theoretical account. If the variable experiences a big alteration on twenty-four hours, it can do a big. Therefore, an upward-move of the current volatility will be estimated by the EWMA theoretical account. governs how antiphonal the estimation of the day-to-day volatility is to the most recent day-to-day per centum alteration ( Hull, 2009 ) .

However, empirical surveies show that plus returns are non usually distributed. The conditional distribution of returns for short skyline plus is tend to be leptokurtic, which shows that the dress suits are significantly fatter than normal distribution ( Liu, Wu, and Lee, 2004 ) . Therefore, the EWMA calculator will lose its power and undervalue the true value of volatility for plus returns.

In this subdivision, we will foremost utilize the EWMA theoretical account to calculate the monthly criterion divergence of output alteration for the six months before December 1994. J.P. Morgan ‘s RiskMetrics theoretical account uses factor value ( ) as of 0.94 for day-to-day and 0.97 for monthly volatility appraisals. The consequence is demoing in Table 1. Therefore, the existent alteration in involvement rates is outside the EWMA prognosiss. From Figure 4 and 5, the VaR will alter due to the alterations of the volatilities. If we can acquire the accurate volatility, the VaR will besides give the accurate prognosis.

Table 1: Volatility Comparison


Monthly Output Change

Volatility of Monthly Output Change

Volatility Forecasted by EWMA


VaR based on EWMA











































Figure 4: Comparisons of the Volatility

Figure 5: VaR ( 95 % ) by Different Volatility

Furthermore when we take the EWMA theoretical account as the methodological analysis of the VaR, plays a critical function. The higher the, the lesser the procedure of the information will disintegrate. If is high, the VaR motion will be comparative low. Then market daze will give the impact on the VaR for a long period. The high can besides cut down the failures of back-testing for the VaR.


Back-testing is the procedure to measure the scheme to see how good and accurate its public presentation when it is applied to the historical information. However, back-testing does non let foretelling that scheme for their future conditions. In this subdivision, the VaR is our scheme based on the EWMA theoretical account to calculate the monthly loss, and compares it with the existent loss ( Berry, 2009 ) .

Due to the alteration of the volatility of the monthly output alteration, the monthly VaR prognosis will besides alter. Therefore, the thought of back-testing is to compare the prognosis from the VaR with the existent historical net income or loss, and to see whether the VaR estimations would hold really performed in the past. We foremost calculate the volatility of monthly output alteration by the EWMA theoretical account for last 100 months, so that we can cipher the monthly VaR at 95 % assurance degree. Furthermore, by utilizing the expression ( ) with bing historical monthly output alteration, we can deduce the monthly existent net income or loss. Finally we plot to above informations into graph to compare these figures. The consequence is demoing in Figure 6 and 7, where we can see that merely 4 musca volitanss ( 4 % of musca volitanss ) are outside the line ( forecast loss by the VaR ) . This means that it is merely 4 % opportunity that the losingss in a month exceed loss forecasted by the 1-month 95 % VaR. Therefore, we can reason that the VaR prognosis based on the EWMA theoretical account is sensible. The survey from Bredin and Hyde ( 2001 ) on Irish currency hazard besides finds that the EWMA theoretical account is the more appropriate compared to other methodological analysiss for the VaR.

Figure 6: Back-testing

Figure 7: Comparisons of the Volatility



It is non a good pick for Orange County to neutralize the portfolio in December 1994. One ground is that, at that clip, the 5-year outputs on US Treasury issues had already about been at the extremum, and started to worsen from that clip. Figure 8 has shown this tendency. Therefore, the losingss from this bond portfolio would besides diminish. Furthermore, in 1995, the degree of output reached the degree during1992 and 1993 when the portfolio began to put. If Orange County held on its place for more several months or half a twelvemonth, and did non declare bankruptcy and neutralize the portfolio in December 1994, so the initial “ paper ” loss would be non realized. Therefore, it may be possible for it to ‘ride out of storm ‘ , and the portfolio may besides retrieve to its formal degree.

Beginning: US Department of Treasure.

Hedging Schemes

We have already known that the cause of the loss for Orange County is the lifting involvement rate. Therefore, to avoid the loss and bankruptcy, Orange County can use three Hedging Schemes in December 1993, which are involvement rate hereafters, involvement rate barters, and involvement rate caps.

Orange County can take a short place in involvement rate hereafters. One of them is Treasury bond hereafters contract, which allow the bringing any authorities bond that has more than 15 old ages to adulthood and is non callable within 15 old ages from that twenty-four hours ( Hull, 2009 ) . If the involvement rate is increasing, the value of the contract will fall. Therefore, Orange County can have the sum of money for its short place, to countervail the loss in the bond portfolio.

Orange County can besides come in into the involvement rate barters provided by nonprescription market. The thought is that it can pay the drifting rate with the purpose to have the fixed rate. Therefore, the value of the portfolio will be locked and would non alter by the alteration of involvement rate.

Orange County can use another involvement rate derivative which is called involvement rate cap. It can take a long place in involvement rate caps. Therefore they would have the sum of insurance if the rate of involvement on the floating-rate note is lifting above a certain degree ( the cap rate ) ( Hull, 2009 ) .


In decision, the trading scheme employed by Orange County is “ a output curve drama ” , which shorts the short short-run fixed-income instrument and long the long-run instrument. It will merely be net income if the involvement rate diminutions. Duration estimate gives the accurate loss figure compared to the existent loss. The monthly VaR based on Variance-covariance Method and Historical Simulation Method has been calculated. By utilizing root-T regulation, we transform the monthly VaR to yearly VaR, and the differences between the VaR and existent loss is big. The EWMA theoretical account helps to mensurate the volatility of monthly alterations in the output. By utilizing backtesting, we can reason that the VaR prognosis based on the EWMA theoretical account is an accurate method to calculate future loss for the portfolio. We besides suggest that Orange County did non declare bankruptcy because of the worsening outputs in the undermentioned months. Furthermore, they can use some fudging schemes as suggested in December 1993.


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