January 2012

Using Policy Intervention to Identify Financial Stress

Mark A. Carlson, Kurt F. Lewis, and William R. Nelson


This paper describes the construction of a financial stress index. This stress index differs from other indexes in that it incorporates the co-movement and volatility of financial series as well as the levels of the series. Our index also uses past experience more than others to guide the assessment about which characteristics of the data suggest financial stress exists. In addition to describing the construction of our financial stress index, we spend some time discussing issues relevant to the general construction of stress indexes.

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Keywords: Financial stress, financial markets, financial institutions

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Last Update: July 10, 2020