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637
The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes
, 2001
"... Using dealer’s quotes and transactions prices on straight industrial bonds, we investigate the determinants of credit spread changes. Variables that should in theory determine credit spread changes have rather limited explanatory power. Further, the residuals from this regression are highly crossco ..."
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Cited by 401 (2 self)
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Using dealer’s quotes and transactions prices on straight industrial bonds, we investigate the determinants of credit spread changes. Variables that should in theory determine credit spread changes have rather limited explanatory power. Further, the residuals from this regression are highly crosscorrelated, and principal components analysis implies they are mostly driven by a single common factor. Although we consider several macroeconomic and financial variables as candidate proxies, we cannot explain this common systematic component. Our results suggest that monthly credit spread changes are principally driven by local supply0 demand shocks that are independent of both creditrisk factors and standard proxies for liquidity.
Asset pricing at the millennium
 Journal of Finance
"... This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work and on the tradeoff between risk and return. Modern research seeks to understand the behavior of the stochastic discount factor ~SDF! that prices all assets in the economy. The behavior ..."
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Cited by 184 (0 self)
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This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work and on the tradeoff between risk and return. Modern research seeks to understand the behavior of the stochastic discount factor ~SDF! that prices all assets in the economy. The behavior of the term structure of real interest rates restricts the conditional mean of the SDF, whereas patterns of risk premia restrict its conditional volatility and factor structure. Stylized facts about interest rates, aggregate stock prices, and crosssectional patterns in stock returns have stimulated new research on optimal portfolio choice, intertemporal equilibrium models, and behavioral finance. This paper surveys the field of asset pricing. The emphasis is on the interplay between theory and empirical work. Theorists develop models with testable predictions; empirical researchers document “puzzles”—stylized facts that fail to fit established theories—and this stimulates the development of new theories. Such a process is part of the normal development of any science. Asset pricing, like the rest of economics, faces the special challenge that data are generated naturally rather than experimentally, and so researchers cannot control the quantity of data or the random shocks that affect the data. A particularly interesting characteristic of the asset pricing field is that these random shocks are also the subject matter of the theory. As Campbell, Lo, and MacKinlay ~1997, Chap. 1, p. 3! put it: What distinguishes financial economics is the central role that uncertainty plays in both financial theory and its empirical implementation. The starting point for every financial model is the uncertainty facing investors, and the substance of every financial model involves the impact of uncertainty on the behavior of investors and, ultimately, on mar* Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
TimeChanged Lévy Processes and Option Pricing
, 2002
"... As is well known, the classic BlackScholes option pricing model assumes that returns follow Brownian motion. It is widely recognized that return processes differ from this benchmark in at least three important ways. First, asset prices jump, leading to nonnormal return innovations. Second, return ..."
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Cited by 182 (21 self)
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As is well known, the classic BlackScholes option pricing model assumes that returns follow Brownian motion. It is widely recognized that return processes differ from this benchmark in at least three important ways. First, asset prices jump, leading to nonnormal return innovations. Second, return volatilities vary stochastically over time. Third, returns and their volatilities are correlated, often negatively for equities. We propose that timechanged Lévy processes be used to simultaneously address these three facets of the underlying asset return process. We show that our framework encompasses almost all of the models proposed in the option pricing literature. Despite the generality of our approach, we show that it is straightforward to select and test a particular option pricing model through the use of characteristic function technology.
Counterparty Risk and the Pricing of Defaultable Securities
 THE JOURNAL OF FINANCE
, 2001
"... Motivated by recent financial crises in East Asia and the United States where the downfall of a small number of firms had an economywide impact, this paper generalizes existing reducedform models to include default intensities dependent on the default of a counterparty. In this model, firms have c ..."
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Cited by 180 (10 self)
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Motivated by recent financial crises in East Asia and the United States where the downfall of a small number of firms had an economywide impact, this paper generalizes existing reducedform models to include default intensities dependent on the default of a counterparty. In this model, firms have correlated defaults due not only to an exposure to common risk factors, but also to firmspecific risks that are termed “counterparty risks.” Numerical examples illustrate the effect of counterparty risk on the pricing of defaultable bonds and credit derivatives such as default swaps.
Pricing the risks of default
 Review of Derivatives Research
, 1998
"... the problems and opportunities facing the financial services industry in its search for competitive excellence. The Center's research focuses on the issues related to managing risk at the firm level as well as ways to improve productivity and performance. The Center fosters the development of a ..."
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Cited by 175 (7 self)
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the problems and opportunities facing the financial services industry in its search for competitive excellence. The Center's research focuses on the issues related to managing risk at the firm level as well as ways to improve productivity and performance. The Center fosters the development of a community of faculty, visiting scholars and Ph.D. candidates whose research interests complement and support the mission of the Center. The Center works closely with industry executives and practitioners to ensure that its research is informed by the operating realities and competitive demands facing industry participants as they pursue competitive excellence. Copies of the working papers summarized here are available from the Center. If you would like to learn more about the Center or become a member of our research community, please let us know of your interest.
Pricing And Hedging Derivative Securities In Markets With Uncertain Volatilities
 Applied Mathematical Finance
, 1995
"... We present a model for pricing and hedging derivative securities and option portfolios in an environment where the volatility is not known precisely, but is assumed instead to lie between two extreme values oe min and oe max . These bounds could be inferred from extreme values of the implied volatil ..."
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Cited by 161 (3 self)
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We present a model for pricing and hedging derivative securities and option portfolios in an environment where the volatility is not known precisely, but is assumed instead to lie between two extreme values oe min and oe max . These bounds could be inferred from extreme values of the implied volatilities of liquid options, or from highlow peaks in historical stock or optionimplied volatilities. They can be viewed as defining a confidence interval for future volatility values. We show that the extremal nonarbitrageable prices for the derivative asset which arise as the volatility paths vary in such a band can be described by a nonlinear PDE, which we call the BlackScholesBarenblatt equation. In this equation, the "pricing" volatility is selected dynamically from the two extreme values oe min ,oe max , according to the convexity of the valuefunction. A simple algorithm for solving the equation by finitedifferencing or a trinomial tree is presented. We show that this model capture...
Pricing american options: a duality approach
 Operations Research
, 2001
"... We develop a new method for pricing American options. The main practical contribution of this paper is a general algorithm for constructing upper and lower bounds on the true price of the option using any approximation to the option price. We show that our bounds are tight, so that if the initial ap ..."
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Cited by 152 (5 self)
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We develop a new method for pricing American options. The main practical contribution of this paper is a general algorithm for constructing upper and lower bounds on the true price of the option using any approximation to the option price. We show that our bounds are tight, so that if the initial approximation is close to the true price of the option, the bounds are also guaranteed to be close. We also explicitly characterize the worstcase performance of the pricing bounds. The computation of the lower bound is straightforward and relies on simulating the suboptimal exercise strategy implied by the approximate option price. The upper bound is also computed using Monte Carlo simulation. This is made feasible by the representation of the American option price as a solution of a properly defined dual minimization problem, which is the main theoretical result of this paper. Our algorithm proves to be accurate on a set of sample problems where we price call options on the maximum and the geometric mean of a collection of stocks. These numerical results suggest that our pricing method can be successfully applied to problems of practical interest. ∗An earlier draft of this paper was titled Pricing HighDimensional American Options: A Duality
Portfolio and consumption decisions under meanreverting returns: An exact solution for complete markets
 Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 37, 63–91. The Journal of Finance Wachter, Jessica A
, 2003
"... This paper solves, in closed form, the optimal portfolio choice problem for an investor with utility over consumption under meanreverting returns. Previous solutions either require approximations, numerical methods, or the assumption that the investor does not consume over his lifetime. This paper ..."
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Cited by 137 (8 self)
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This paper solves, in closed form, the optimal portfolio choice problem for an investor with utility over consumption under meanreverting returns. Previous solutions either require approximations, numerical methods, or the assumption that the investor does not consume over his lifetime. This paper breaks the impasse by assuming that markets are complete. The solution leads to a new understanding of hedging demand and of the behavior of the approximate loglinear solution. The portfolio allocation takes the form of a weighted average and is shown to be analogous to duration for coupon bonds. Through this analogy, the notion of investment horizon is extended to that of an investor who consumes at multiple points in time.
Numerical Valuation of High Dimensional Multivariate American Securities
, 1994
"... We consider the problem of pricing an American contingent claim whose payoff depends on several sources of uncertainty. Using classical assumptions from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the theoretical price can be computed as the maximum over all possible early exercise strategies of the discounted ..."
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Cited by 127 (0 self)
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We consider the problem of pricing an American contingent claim whose payoff depends on several sources of uncertainty. Using classical assumptions from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the theoretical price can be computed as the maximum over all possible early exercise strategies of the discounted expected cash flows under the modified riskneutral information process. Several efficient numerical techniques exist for pricing American securities depending on one or few (up to 3) risk sources. They are either latticebased techniques or finite difference approximations of the BlackScholes diffusion equation. However, these methods cannot be used for highdimensional problems, since their memory requirement is exponential in the