The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Stress testing is a useful and increasingly popular, yet sometimes misunderstood, method of analyzing the resilience of financial systems to adverse events. This paper aims to help demystify stress tests and illustrate their strengths and weaknesses. Using an Excel-based template with institution-specific data, readers are walked through the basics of liability valuation and stress testing of assets and liabilities of a typical defined benefit plan.