The delivery option in credit default swaps
Under standard assumptions the reduced-form credit risk model is not capable of accurately pricing the two fundamental credit risk instruments - bonds and credit default swaps (CDS) - simultaneously. Using a data set of euro-denominated corporate bonds and CDS our paper quantifies this mispricing by calibrating such a model to bond data, and subsequently using it to price CDS, resulting in model CDS spreads up to 50% lower on average than observed in the market. An extended model is presented which includes the delivery option implicit in CDS contracts emerging since a basket of bonds is deliverable in default. By using a constant recovery rate standard models assume equal recoveries for all bonds and hence zero value for the delivery option. Contradicting this common assumption, case studies of Chapter 11 filings presented in the paper show that corporate bonds do not necessarily trade at equal levels following default. Our extension models the implied expected recovery rate of the cheapest-to-deliver bond and, applied to data, largely eliminates the mispricing. Calibrated recovery values lie between 8% and 47% for different obligors, exhibiting strong variation among rating classes and industries. A cross-sectional analysis reveals that the implied recovery parameter depends on proxies for the delivery option, primarily the number of available bonds and bond pricing errors. No evidence is found for a direct influence of the bid-ask spread, notional amount, coupon, or rating used as proxies for bond market liquidity.
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- Houweling, P. & Vorst, A.C.F., 2003.
"Pricing default swaps: empirical evidence,"
Econometric Institute Research Papers
EI 2003-51, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
- Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2004.
"Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit-Default Swap Market,"
NBER Working Papers
10418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
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- Damiano Brigo & Aurélien Alfonsi, 2005. "Credit default swap calibration and derivatives pricing with the SSRD stochastic intensity model," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 29-42, January.
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- Haibin Zhu, 2006. "An Empirical Comparison of Credit Spreads between the Bond Market and the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 29(3), pages 211-235, June.
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