CRISK: Measuring the Climate Risk Exposure of the Financial System
Co-authors: Robert Engle and Richard Berner
R&R at Journal of Financial Economics
AEA, Paris December Finance Meeting, UN PRI Academic Network Week, OFR Climate Implications for Financial Stability Conference, CEBRA, EFA, International Journal of Central Banking Conference, Cornell University ESG Investing Research Conference, Banco de Portugal Conference on Financial Intermediation, OCC Symposium, ESRB Workshop, NY Fed-Columbia University Conference, System Climate Meeting by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, University of Oklahoma Energy and Climate Finance Research Conference, Federal Reserve Board, Banque de France Workshop, ESSEC-Amundi Chair Webinar, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Australasian Finance and Banking Conference*, (EC)^2 Conference, European Central Bank, MIT GCFP Conference, Central Bank of Chile Workshop, Federal Reserve Stress Testing Research Conference, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, IFABS Oxford Conference, Green Swan Conference*, EBA EAIA Seminar*, 2nd Annual Volatility and Risk Institute Conference (
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We develop a market-based methodology to assess banks’ resilience to climate-related risks and study the climate-related risk exposure of large global banks. We introduce a new measure, CRISK, which is the expected capital shortfall of a bank in a climate stress scenario. To estimate CRISK, we construct climate risk factors and dynamically measure banks’ stock return sensitivity (that is, climate beta) to the climate risk factor. We validate the climate risk factor empirically and the climate beta estimates by using granular data on large U.S. banks’ loan portfolios. The measure is useful in quantifying banks’ climate-related risk exposure through the market risk and the credit risk channels.
U.S. Banks’ Exposures to Climate Transition Risks
Co-authors: Joao Santos and Lee Seltzer
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland*, System Climate Meeting by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, OCC Symposium*, IFABS Oxford Conference*, ASSA IBEFA, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Economics Conference, NY Fed-Columbia University Conference*, American Bankers Association, Federal Reserve Board
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We build on the estimated sectoral effects of climate transition policies from the general equilibrium models of Jorgenson et al. (2018), Goulder and Hafstead (2018), and NGFS (2022a) to investigate U.S. banks’ exposures to transition risks. Our results show that while banks’ exposures are meaningful, they are manageable. Exposures vary by model and policy scenario with the largest estimates coming from the NGFS (2022a) disorderly transition scenario, where the average bank exposure reaches 9 percent as of 2022. Banks’ exposures increase with the stringency of a carbon tax policy but tend to benefit from a corporate or capital tax cut redistribution policy relative to a lump sum dividend. Also, banks’ exposures increase, although not dramatically in stress scenarios. For example, according to Jorgenson et al. (2018), banks’ exposures range from 0.5—3.5 percent as of 2022. Assuming that loans to industries in the top two deciles most affected by the transition policy lose their entire value, banks’ exposures would increase to 12—14 percent. Finally, there is a downward trend in banks’ exposures to the riskiest industries, which appears to be at least in part due to banks gradually reducing funding to these industries.
Measuring the Climate Risk Exposure of Insurers
Co-authors: Robert Engle, Shan Ge, and Xuran Zeng
FHFA Econ Summit, System Banking Conference by the Federal Reserve Board, Financial Stability Conference by the Cleveland Fed and the OFR, NY Fed, Central Bank of Chile Annual Conference, Greater New York Finance Women Symposium*
Insurance companies can be exposed to climate-related physical risk through their operations and to transition risk through their $12 trillion of financial asset holdings. We assess the climate risk exposure of property and casualty (P&C) and life insurance companies in the U.S. We construct a novel physical risk factor by forming a portfolio of P&C insurers’ stocks, with each insurer’s weight reflecting their operational exposure to states associated with high physical climate risk. We then estimate the dynamic physical climate beta, representing the stock return sensitivity of each insurer to the physical risk factor. In addition, using the climate beta estimates introduced by Jung et al. (2021), we calculate the expected capital shortfall of insurers under various climate stress scenarios. We validate our approach by utilizing granular data on insurers’ asset holdings and state-level operational exposure. Our findings indicate a positive association between larger exposures to risky states and higher holdings of brown assets with higher sensitivity to physical and transition risk, respectively.
Climate Stress Testing
Co-authors: Viral Acharya, Robert Engle, Richard Berner, Johannes Stroebel, Xuran Zeng, and Yihao Zhao
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Central Bank of Brazil, European Central Bank, IMF
Prepared for the Annual Review of Financial Economics
We explore the design of climate stress tests to assess and manage macro-prudential risks from climate change in the financial sector. We review the climate stress scenarios currently employed by regulators, highlighting the need to (i) consider many transition risks as dynamic policy choices; (ii) better understand and incorporate feedback loops between climate change and the economy; and (iii) further explore "compound risk" scenarios in which climate risks co-occur with other risks. We discuss how the process of mapping climate stress scenarios into financial firm outcomes can incorporate existing evidence on the effects of various climate-related risks on credit and market outcomes. We argue that more research is required to (i) identify channels through which plausible scenarios can lead to meaningful short-run impact on credit risks given typical bank loan maturities; (ii) incorporate bank-lending responses to climate risks; (iii) assess the adequacy of climate risk pricing in financial markets; and (iv) better understand and incorporate the process of expectations formation around the realizations of climate risks. Finally, we discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of using market-based climate stress tests that can be conducted using publicly available data to complement existing stress testing frameworks.
Deviations from the Law of One Price across Economies
Co-author: Jaehoon (Kyle) Jung
WAPFIN @ Stern Conference, Australasian Finance and Banking Conference*, Columbia GSB Finance Ph.D. Seminar, NYU Stern
(Presentations including scheduled; * presented by co-author)
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In a model with agents facing constraints heterogeneous across economies, we provide a novel explanation for an understudied yet economically significant deviation from the Law of One Price across FX forward markets. Specifically, we document a substantial divergence between the exchange rate for locally traded forward contracts and contracts with the same maturity traded outside the jurisdiction of countries during the global financial crisis, and that the magnitudes varied across currencies. The model predicts that (1) the basis increases with the shadow costs of constraints across time and increases with the country-specific FX position limits across countries; (2) the shadow cost of each constraint non-linearly increases as the intermediary sector's relative performance declines below a threshold; and (3) higher shadow cost of the position limit predicts lower future excess return on local-currency denominated assets, as buying local assets relaxes the FX position limit constraint imposed on the intermediaries. We test the model predictions and find consistent evidence in countries with tight position limits.