Thursday, January 5, 2012

Moneyness and liquidity options

Lars Christensen had an interesting post on moneyness and the Divisia indexes. He recommended an old paper of Steve Horowitz's which I read some time ago and have always respected. See A Subjectivist Approach to the Demand for Money.

Essentially, you can't believe in the concept of moneyness and also believe in the effort to count money through indexes like M1, M2, or even the Divisia indexes. The two efforts contradict each other. The best way to get a market indication of moneyness, or liquidity, is through the introduction of liquidity options. My comment follows:

If moneyness is a subjective concept, and I think it is, then trying to sum up various money assets into a Divisia index is problematic. That’s because an asset that appears to be high on one person’s subjective moneyness scale will be low on another’s, the result being that it is impossible to create objective categories for moneyness.

Ultimately, the best way to determine moneyness is to back out the market’s assessment of an asset’s liquidity premium. The best way to do this is to introduce liquidity options on various assets and see how the market prices these options. Anyways, this is science fiction for now since liquidity options don’t exist.

Previous posts on liquidity options.

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