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Setting Market Risk Limits – Guide for Dummies & Learning Road Map

Risk models only have value if they are used effectively in combination with limit management and control process. While a conventional view of the control function is that it requires and relies on reports, the key is not generation of quantitative numbers, formatted in ten different variation and cuts; it is the interpretation and application of the analysis behind that reports that matters.

The objective of a risk function is to not just gather data, run reports, submit and analyze them, it is to ensure that unpleasant surprises and their impact is limited. While you can’t control the timing and magnitude of such surprises, a well managed and well run risk function can help manage expectations as well as plan ahead for unexpected shocks. Limits play a major role in achieving that objective.

What are the pre-requisites for limit setting?

The choice of the market risk measure that will be monitored and against which limits will be set is a very important element in determining market risk limits. Will we be monitoring the volatility, daily VaR, correlations, betas, duration of the security? Will we be looking at the overall impact on shareholder value or net trading and interest income?

The first step therefore in setting market risk limits is to know what the underlying metric is and how it is determined. The following courses provided detailed procedures for calculating these measures:

Topics covered in the limit setting course

We will first review the core principles for setting effective limits and then present and overview of the different limits that may be defined:

Next we walk through detailed methodologies and related examples for defining Capital Loss and Stop loss limits; Value-at-Risk (VaR) and Regulatory Approach limits from a Basel II IMA perspective; Duration, Convexity and Present Value of Basis Point (PVBP) limits;

Related setting limits topics

Other limits:

Stress testing market risk measures to see their sensitivity to other risk factors/ economic environments:

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