The Carry Trade: Risks and Drawdowns
65 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2014 Last revised: 2 May 2021
Date Written: August 2014
We examine carry trade returns formed from the G10 currencies. Performance attributes depend on the base currency. Dynamically spread-weighting and risk-rebalancing positions improves performance. Equity, bond, FX, volatility, and downside equity risks cannot explain profitability. Dollar-neutral carry trades exhibit insignificant abnormal returns, while the dollar exposure part of the carry trade earns significant abnormal returns with little skewness. Downside equity market betas of our carry trades are not significantly different from unconditional betas. Hedging with options reduces but does not eliminate abnormal returns. Distributions of drawdowns and maximum losses from daily data indicate the importance of time-varying autocorrelation in determining the negative skewness of longer horizon returns.
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