May 16, 2013 The Bank of Canada recently developed an asset-liability-matching model to aid in the management of Canada’s foreign exchange reserves. The model allows policy-makers at the Bank and the Department of Finance to analyze asset-allocation and funding-mix decisions by quantifying both the risk-return and liquidity trade-offs for the assets, as well as the risk-cost trade-offs of the funding liabilities.
We build a dynamic capital structure model to study the link between systematic risk exposure and debt maturity, as well as their joint impact on the term structure of credit spreads. Our model allows for time variation and lumpiness in the maturity structure. Relative to short-term debt, long-term debt is less prone to rollover risks, but its illiquidity raises the costs of financing.
The authors describe the liabilities model of the Exchange Fund Account (EFA). The EFA is managed using an asset-liability matching framework that requires currency and duration matching of both sides of the balance sheet.
August 18, 2011 As the Government of Canada’s fiscal agent, the Bank of Canada provides strategic policy advice on the management of the government’s debt, in addition to being responsible for conducting debt-management operations. In this article, the authors review the evolution of the debt strategy over the past 20 years and outline the complex process of developing a sound strategy that balances various cost and risk considerations. This includes an examination of the tools and practices used to develop the new medium-term debt-management strategy, such as the modelling approach involved, market consultations and various debt-management metrics.
The Canadian Debt Strategy Model helps debt managers determine their optimal financing strategy. The model’s code and documentation are available to the public.
Liquidity, Risk, and Return: Specifying an Objective Function for the Management of Foreign ReservesAn objective function is a key component of a strategic portfolio management model used to determine the optimal allocations of assets and, possibly, their associated liabilities over some investment horizon.
Relevant literature on asset-liability management (ALM) is reviewed and different ALM approaches are discussed that may be of interest to the Bank of Canada for the purpose of modelling the Exchange Fund Account (EFA).
Using a rich sample of Canadian government securities auctions, we estimate the structural parameters of a share-auction model accounting for asymmetries across bidders. We find little evidence of asymmetries between participants at Canadian government nominal bond auctions.
We investigate the macroeconomic determinants of corporate spreads using a no-arbitrage technique. Structural shocks are identified by a New-Keynesian model. Treasury bonds are priced in an affine model with time-varying risk premia.
June 20, 2008 In its role as fiscal agent to the government, the Bank of Canada provides analysis and advice on decisions about the government's domestic debt portfolio. Debt-management decisions depend on assumptions about future interest rates, macroeconomic outcomes, and fiscal policy, yet when a debt-strategy decision is taken, none of these factors can be known with certainty. Moreover, the government has various financing options (i.e., treasury bills, nominal bonds, and inflation-linked bonds) to meet its objectives of minimizing debt-service charges while simultaneously ensuring a prudent risk profile and well-functioning government securities markets. Bank of Canada staff have therefore developed a mathematical model to assist in the decision-making process. This article describes the key aspects of the debt manager's challenge and the principal assumptions incorporated in the debt-strategy model, illustrated with specific results.