Predicting Financial Market Crashes Using Ghost Singularities
21 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2017
We analyse the behaviour of a non-linear model of coupled stock and bond prices exhibiting periodically collapsing bubbles. By using the formalism of dynamical system theory, we explain what drives the bubbles and how foreshocks or aftershocks are generated. A dynamical phase space representation of that system coupled with standard multiplicative noise rationalises the log-periodic power law singularity pattern documented in many historical financial bubbles. The notion of ‘ghosts of finite-time singularities’ is introduced and used to estimate the end of an evolving bubble, using finite-time singularities of an approximate normal form near the bifurcation point. We test the forecasting skill of this method on different stochastic price realisations and compare with Monte Carlo simulations of the full system. Remarkably, the former is significantly more precise and less biased. Moreover, the method of ghosts of singularities is less sensitive to the noise realisation, thus providing more robust forecasts.
Keywords: Financial Markets, State Space Models, Price Forecasting, Simulation, Bifurcation Theory, Finite-Time Singularity
JEL Classification: C02, C18, C32, G01, G17
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