Estimating Loss Given Default from CDS under Weak Identification
This paper combines a term structure model of credit default swaps (CDS) with weak-identification robust methods to jointly estimate the probability of default and the loss given default of the underlying firm. The model is not globally identified because it forgoes parametric time series restrictions that have aided identification in previous studies, but that are also difficult to verify in the data. The empirical results show that informative (small) confidence sets for loss given default are estimated for half of the firm-months in the sample, and most of these are much lower than and do ...
Time-Varying Inflation Risk and Stock Returns
We show that inflation risk is priced in stock returns and that inflation risk premia in the cross-section and the aggregate market vary over time, even changing sign as in the early 2000s. This time variation is due to both price and quantities of inflation risk changing over time. Using a consumption-based asset pricing model, we argue that inflation risk is priced because inflation predicts real consumption growth. The historical changes in this predictability and in stocks' inflation betas can account for the size, variability, predictability and sign reversals in inflation risk premia.
Implied mortgage refinancing thresholds
The optimal prepayment model asserts that rational homeowners would refinance if they can reduce the current value of their liabilities by an amount greater than the refinancing threshold, defined as the cost of carrying the transaction plus the time value of the embedded call option. To compute the notional value of the refinancing threshold, researchs have traditionally relied on a discrete option-pricing model. Using a unique loan level dataset that links homeowner attributes with property and loan characteristics, this study proposes an alternative approach of estimating the implied value ...
The term structure of the price of variance risk
We estimate the term structure of the price of variance risk (PVR), which helps distinguish between competing asset-pricing theories. First, we measure the PVR as proportional to the Sharpe ratio of short-term holding returns of delta-neutral index straddles; second, we estimate the PVR in a Heston (1993) stochastic-volatility model. In both cases, the estimation is performed separately for different maturities. We find the PVR is negative and decreases in absolute value with maturity; it is more negative and its term structure is steeper when volatility is high. These findings are ...
Arbitrage-free models of stocks and bonds
A small but ambitious literature uses affine arbitrage-free models to estimate jointly U.S. Treasury term premiums and the term structure of equity risk premiums. Within this approach, this paper identifies the parameter restrictions that are consistent with a simple dividend discount model, extends the cross-section to Germany and France, averages across multiple observable-factor and market prices of risk specifications, and considers alternative samples for parameter estimation. The results produce intuitive trajectories for both sets of premiums given standard samples starting from July ...
The costs and benefits of dual trading
This paper finds that marketmaking practices of dual traders are pit-specific. In the S&P 500 futures pit, the authors estimate that, because of a lower price impact, customers of dual traders pay eighteen cents less per contract on their trades, compared with customers of pure brokers. According to the authors' estimates, however, customers pay eleven cents more per contract for a purchase and receive nine cents less per contract for a sale, compared with the prices dual traders obtain for their own trades. Thus, the estimated net benefit of dual trading to customers in the S&P 500 futures ...
Simple and reliable way to compute option-based risk-neutral distributions
This paper describes a method for computing risk-neutral density functions based on the option-implied volatility smile. Its aim is to reduce complexity and provide cookbook-style guidance through the estimation process. The technique is robust and avoids violations of option no-arbitrage restrictions that can lead to negative probabilities and other implausible results. I give examples for equities, foreign exchange, and long-term interest rates.
Understanding mortgage spreads
Most mortgages in the U.S. are securitized in agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Yield spreads on these securities are thus a key determinant of homeowners? funding costs. We study variation in MBS spreads over time and across securities, and document a cross-sectional smile pattern in MBS spreads with respect to the securities? coupon rates. We propose non-interest-rate prepayment risk as a candidate driver of MBS spread variation and present a new pricing model that uses ?stripped? MBS prices to identify the contribution of this prepayment risk to the spread. The pricing model finds ...
Term structures of asset prices and returns
We explore the term structures of claims to a variety of cash flows: U.S. government bonds (claims to dollars), foreign government bonds (claims to foreign currency), inflation-adjusted bonds (claims to the price index), and equity (claims to future equity indexes or dividends). Average term structures reflect the dynamics of the dollar pricing kernel, of cash flow growth, and of their interaction. We use simple models to illustrate how relationships between the two components can deliver term structures with a wide range of levels and shapes.
Global variance term premia and intermediary risk appetite
Sellers of variance swaps earn time-varying risk premia for their exposure to realized variance, the level of variance swap rates, and the slope of the variance swap curve. To measure risk premia, we estimate a dynamic term structure model that decomposes variance swap rates into expected variances and term premia. Empirically, we document a strong global factor structure in variance term premia across the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Japan. We further show that variance term premia are negatively correlated with the risk appetite of hedge funds, broker-dealers, and mutual funds. Our results ...