Projects

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Sep 2020 → Dec 2021 Project

Risk & returns around FOMC press conferences: a novel perspective from computer vision

Partner: Swissquote
Partner contact: Serge Kassibrakis
EPFL laboratory: Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL
EPFL contact: Prof. Damir Filipovic, Alexis Marchal

I propose a new tool to characterize the resolution of uncertainty around FOMC press conferences. It relies on the construction of a measure capturing the level of discussion complexity between the Fed Chair and reporters during the Q&A sessions. I show that complex discussions are associated with higher equity returns and a drop in realized volatility. The method creates an attention score by quantifying how much the Chair needs to rely on reading internal documents to be able to answer a question. This is accomplished by building a novel dataset of video images of the press conferences and leveraging recent deep learning algorithms from computer vision. This alternative data provides new information on nonverbal communication that cannot be extracted from the widely analyzed FOMC transcripts. This paper can be seen as a proof of concept that certain videos contain valuable information for the study of financial markets.

TopicsMachine LearningFinance

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Nov 2019 → Dec 2021 Project

Deep Learning for Asset Bubbles Detection

Partner: Swissquote
Partner contact: Serge Kassibrakis
EPFL laboratory: Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL
EPFL contact: Prof. Damir Filipovic, Alexis Marchal

We develop a methodology for detecting asset bubbles using a neural network. We rely on the theory of local martingales in continuous-time and use a deep network to estimate the diffusion coefficient of the price process more accurately than the current estimator, obtaining an improved detection of bubbles. We show the outperformance of our algorithm over the existing statistical method in a laboratory created with simulated data. We then apply the network classification to real data and build a zero net exposure trading strategy that exploits the risky arbitrage emanating from the presence of bubbles in the US equity market from 2006 to 2008. The profitability of the strategy provides an estimation of the economical magnitude of bubbles as well as support for the theoretical assumptions relied on.

TopicsMachine LearningFinance

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Jul 2019 → Dec 2021 Project

Deep Learning, Jumps, and Volatility Bursts

Partner: Swissquote
Partner contact: Serge Kassibrakis
EPFL laboratory: Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL
EPFL contact: Prof. Damir Filipovic, Alexis Marchal

We develop a new method that detects jumps nonparametrically in financial time series and significantly outperforms the current benchmark on simulated data. We use a long short- term memory (LSTM) neural network that is trained on labelled data generated by a process that experiences both jumps and volatility bursts. As a result, the network learns how to disentangle the two. Then it is applied to out-of-sample simulated data and delivers results that considerably differ from the benchmark: we obtain fewer spurious detection and identify a larger number of true jumps. When applied to real data, our approach for jump screening allows to extract a more precise signal about future volatility.

TopicsMachine LearningFinance

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