XBRL: Nowcasting, restaurants in lockdown and ESG reporting in melt-up


Note; this post was written by Christian Dreyer. It is being posted by the Daily Fintech editor due to a tech snafu – normal programming will resume next week.

Here is our pick of the 3 most important XBRL news stories this week.

1 Three quant lessons from COVID-19

Traditionally, quant strategies have focused on forecasting prices, based on price time-series dynamics (e.g., stat arb), or based on cross-sectional data (e.g., factor investing). Forecasting made a lot of sense years ago, when datasets were limited, mostly covering price series, and disclosures were infrequent, typically quarterly accounting statements. Today, we have access to a wide range of real-time data sources that allow us to “nowcast” the value of relevant financialvariables.

It’s mostly lesson 1 from this paper that caught our eye, namely more nowcasting, less forecasting, because nowcasting relies on unstructured observations, whereas forecasting depends critically on structured data. Fascinating, and food for thought!

2 Calcbench’s restaurant week

Restaurants have suffered enormously since coronavirus began spreading around the world three months ago — and as always, Calcbench wanted a better sense of how much damage restaurant firms have been disclosing. So we scoured the filings of 110 firms that belong to SIC Group 5812, otherwise known as the retail food sector. Our goal: finding the nuggets of disclosure that tell the true story of Covid-19’s harm to the restaurant business.

In a series of 3 blog post, Calcbench is showing a quick and dirty analysis of the near real time impact that COVID-19 has had on the US restaurant sector as represented in the Q1 reports.

3 Recent developments in sustainability reporting

A summary of recent developments at IMF, CDSB, GRI, the ESAs, SSE, BCBS, IIRC, BMJV, ISAR, and JPX.

Too many equally important things to pick just one have been going on in the alphabet soup that represents stakeholders of sustainability / ESG (see?) reporting, so here’s the Deloitte blog post linking to all of them!


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives.

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