Volatility and the Carry Trade
27 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2007
The currency 'carry trade', in which an investor buys assets in a higher yielding currency by borrowing in a lower yielding currency, has been consistently exploited as a source of profits by investors. In this paper, we discuss the effectiveness of the carry trade as prospective risk (measured by implied volatilities) in exchange rates varies. Based on simple equilibrium arguments we propose the hypothesis that the carry trade is effectively a form of short volatility trade. We also explore a simple strategy that combines carry with options and present a heuristic statistic for the measurement of the economics of the carry trade. We test the stratgy on actual historical carry and option price data and find that the hypothetical strategy allows for the presence of arbitrage opportunities between the forex option and carry markets.
Keywords: carry trade, volatility
JEL Classification: E44, F31, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation