CMRA Books and Resources


Visit us regularly to see our periodic updates to the Insights page, where we share new and recently-published articles and resources.


CMRA Commentary



CMRA Recent Interviews and Press


Lexis PLS Banking & Finance analysis: Capital Market Risk Advisors (CMRA) has surveyed market participants about the new variation and initial margin requirements. Leslie Rahl and Peter Niculescu, partners at CMRA and members of the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Panel of Experts outline the responses on this topic and highlight the potential benefits and costs of implementing the new regulations and explain that while the new regulations seek to reduce both systemic risk and counterparty risk, they likely will not significantly curtail future legal disputes surrounding derivatives closeout.

Sep 7, 2017

The expert analysis and testimony prepared by Capital Market Risk Advisors (CMRA) - a leading risk management, risk governance, and litigation support boutique for the past 25 years - was extensively cited in a 524-page judgement dismissing all 187 claims, with almost $2 billion in alleged damages at stake, against Carlyle Capital Corporation Ltd's directors in a case involving leveraged RMBS.

Sep 4, 2017

“The parties seem pretty far apart in their perceptions of the value of the claim,” Peter Niculescu, a partner at Capital Market Risk Advisors who has worked on previous Lehman settlements, told me. “There did not seem to be from the public docs any likely avenue to reconcile their perceptions.” [...]
Lehman’s industry agreement, which required participating banks to net along strict and agreed-upon guidelines, could be an indication. “It’s not the law, but it does contain the imprimatur of commercial reasonableness given how many have agreed to it,” Niculescu said.
But a judgment with Citi would create a different precedent. “The question is how to resolve a settlement dispute involving a variety of derivatives with the non-defaulting counterparty [Citi] would never have intended to replace, and whether they should be valued at a line-item replacement cost or whether true economic replacement costs mean something different,” Niculescu said.

Aug 3, 2017

Helpful Web Resources

Associations & Organizations



Risk Management

  • Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
    • Database of economic time series suitable for backtesting, historical data, and risk analysis
  • NYU Stern Volatility Laboratory
    • Research on risks in financial markets, with daily calculations of volatilities and correlations on a wide range of assets
    • Coverage of financial industry, with a focus on risk management, derivatives, and complex finance


Structured Finance

Recent Literature and Regulatory Guidance

Bank of England

  • Financial Stability Report (June 2017)
    • Prepared twice per calendar year by the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Financial Stability Report (FSR) outlines the FPC's outlook on the state of financial stability throughout the United Kingdom. In this report, the FPC addresses the UK countercyclical capital buffer rate, stress losses on consumer credit lending, insurance measures in the mortgage market, leverage ratio standards, cyber resilience, and contingency planning to mitigate financial instability in anticipation of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.
  • Financial Stability Report (November 2016)
    • The Bank of England's stress testing of major UK banks in 2016 incorporated a misconduct cost stress, perhaps reflecting fines totaling to over $300 billion paid by banks for misconduct since the financial crisis in 2008. Looking forward to the 2017 stress tests, an additional biennial exploratory scenario (BES) will be added for the first time to probe the resilience of the system to risks that may not be precisely linked to the financial cycle.
    • The UK leverage ratio framework will also be reviewed in 2017, with a recalibration of the standard to include the exclusion of central bank reserves from the exposure measure of the leverage ratio.
  • Staff Working Paper No. 609: The role of collateral in supporting liquidity (August 2016)
    • Yuliya Baranova, Zijun Liu, and Joseph Noss predict that a future period of stress could cause demand for high-quality collateral to spike while at the same time limiting its supply, thereby exacerbating market conditions. While the imbalance between supply and demand for collateral would likely eventually resolve itself as potential returns for collateral lenders increased, it could herald a costly breakdown in the network of intermediaries that facilitate collateral posting. The authors predict that the supply of collateral could be exhausted in the absence of additional central bank debt issuance when the VIX index rises above 44 for a sustained period of about three months, and warn that higher collateral requirements might considerably lower that VIX threshold.

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

Bank for International Settlement

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

European Central Bank

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Federal Reserve Board

Financial Stability Board

International Monetary Fund

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

International Swaps and Derivatives Association

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

European Securities and Markets Authority


CMRA Books

Risk Management for Institutional Investors:

Fulfilling Fiduciary and Strategic Responsibilities

By Richard Horwitz and David Tyson, Capital Market Risk Advisors; Published by Risk Books, Nov 2013

More about the book

  • Risk Management for Institutional Investors: Fulfilling Fiduciary and Strategic Responsibilities addresses how board members, directors, trustees, and members of the C-suite overseeing a pension or endowment fund can properly manage and mitigate risk. It details on a practical level how the necessary data can be collected and reported to this governing board within the broad framework of current risk management practices.

  • This holistic executive report will include discussions of risk appetite, risk governance, board risk communication, and board risk training, and will address how highly technical and granular data can be synthesized so that it can be reported to a board that may only meet for three hours every three months, in turn informing the decisions the institutional investors make.

Risk Budgeting, Second Edition:

Risk Appetite and Governance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis

Edited by Leslie Rahl, Capital Market Risk Advisors

More about the book

  • This fully updated and revised second edition of the best-selling guide Risk Budgeting expands upon the first edition, continuing to provide a road map for more effective risk allocation and better return per unit of risk taken. This edition reflects in particular the growing focus on risk appetite and governance in the risk budgeting environment.

Hedge Fund Transparency:

Unraveling the Complex and Controversial Debate

By Leslie Rahl, Capital Market Risk Advisors

More about the book

  • The only title that focuses solely on hedge fund transparency and offers a balanced perspective that appreciates both the needs of institutional investors and hedge fund managers.

  • Presents clear insight on why hedge fund transparency is an issue, as well as offers solutions

  • Includes "perspectives" based on interviews with numerous eminent practitioners from both sides of the investor/hedge fund debate
  • Service providers including consultants, prime brokers, third party marketers, capital introducers, systems providers, lawyers and accountants, will additionally acquire an enhanced insight into the needs of both investors and hedge funds in order to tailor their services to the market needs
  • The press and the regulators can also achieve enhanced understanding of this complex and controversial subject
  • Written by the best-selling author and practitioner Leslie Rahl, who is the chair of the Investor Risk Committee of the IAFE Committee on Hedge Fund
  • Transparency and is uniquely placed to advise on and explain the issues for all concerned participants

Risk Budgeting

A New Approach to Investing

Edited by Leslie Rahl, Capital Market Risk Advisors; Published by Risk Books, November 2000

More about the book

  • A practical and authoritative introduction to the concept of risk unit allocation as an alternative and more effective decision-making process for long-term investors.

  • Make an informed decision about how to implement and execute a "risk unit allocation" investment policy

  • Analysis of techniques to assess how risk might impact long-term Investment returns
  • Introduces methods to allocate assets based on the "risk unit" exposures - in individual asset classes and on a portfolio basis, to meet long-term pension obligations and investment return objectives
  • Investigates ways to use VAR to accommodate a long-term investment horizon
  • Contributions from leading experts drawn from consultancies; large institutional investors; pension plans; investment banks and academia
  • Leslie Rahl has donated her proceeds from the sale of the book to the Fischer Black Memorial Foundation.

Hedge Fund Risk Fundamentals:

Solving the Risk Management and Transparency Challenge

By Richard Horwitz, Capital Market Risk Advisors

More about the book

  • In the constantly evolving hedge fund marketplace, nothing is more central--but in many ways, more amorphous and elusive--than risk. Yet there remains no standard for analyzing and measuring risk within this highly secretive, largely unregulated field, leaving the thousands of hedge funds--and the tens of thousands of hedge fund investors--in dangerously dim light. The industry has not solved the "transparency" challenge--communicating risk to investors without disclosing proprietary information.In the constantly evolving hedge fund marketplace, nothing is more central--but in many ways, more amorphous and elusive--than risk. Yet there remains no standard for analyzing and measuring risk within this highly secretive, largely unregulated field, leaving the thousands of hedge funds--and the tens of thousands of hedge fund investors--in dangerously dim light. The industry has not solved the "transparency" challenge--communicating risk to investors without disclosing proprietary information.

  • Hedge Fund Risk Fundamentals is the first book to bring these issues to the forefront. With clarity, concision, and minimal math, Richard Horwitz lays out the key components and the cutting-edge processes in the field of hedge fund risk management today. Against that backdrop, he presents a groundbreaking utility destined to set the standard for transparency and risk management within the hedge fund universe.

  • You’ll learn why, when it comes to risk management, 1 + 1 = 1.41. For all of those perplexed by the difficulties of assessing risk in hedge fund investing, Horwitz’s concepts make for an invaluable road map and a demystifying resource that hedge funds and investors at all levels will find indispensable.

Value at Risk

"This book has become an industry standard for value at risk."
Leslie Rahl, president, CMRA

More about the book

  • To accommodate sweeping global economic changes, the risk management field has evolved substantially since the first edition of Value at Risk, making this revised edition a must. Updates include a new chapter on liquidity risk, information on the latest risk instruments and the expanded derivatives market, recent developments in Monte Carlo methods, and more. Value at Risk, Second Edition, will help professional risk managers understand, and operate within, today's dynamic new risk environment.

How I Became a Quant

By Richard R. Lindsey and Barry Schachter
From Amazon:

More about the book

  • "Quants"--those who design and implement mathematical models for the pricing of derivatives, assessment of risk, or prediction of market movements--are the backbone of today's investment industry. As the greater volatility of current financial markets has driven investors to seek shelter from increasing uncertainty, the quant revolution has given people the opportunity to avoid unwanted financial risk by literally trading it away, or more specifically, paying someone else to take on the unwanted risk.

  • How I Became a Quant reveals the faces behind the quant revolution, offering you the chance to learn firsthand what it's like to be a?quant today. In this fascinating collection of Wall Street war stories, more than two dozen quants detail their roots, roles, and contributions, explaining what they do and how they do it, as well as outlining the sometimes unexpected paths they have followed from the halls of academia to the front lines of an investment revolution.

Risk Management: The State of the Art

Edited by Stephen Figlewski and Richard M. Levich

More about the book

  • The articles in this volume examine the "State of the Art" in risk management from the standpoint of academic researchers, market analysts and practitioners, and government observers with

  • Risk Management: Where Are We Heading? Where Have We Been? Contributed by Leslie Rahl.