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American Step-Up and Step-Down Default Swaps under Levy Models


  • Tim Siu-Tang Leung
  • Kazutoshi Yamazaki


This paper studies the valuation of a class of default swaps with the embedded option to switch to a different premium and notional principal anytime prior to a credit event. These are early exercisable contracts that give the protection buyer or seller the right to step-up, step-down, or cancel the swap position. The pricing problem is formulated under a structural credit risk model based on Levy processes. This leads to the analytic and numerical studies of several optimal stopping problems subject to early termination due to default. In a general spectrally negative Levy model, we rigorously derive the optimal exercise strategy. This allows for instant computation of the credit spread under various specifications. Numerical examples are provided to examine the impacts of default risk and contractual features on the credit spread and exercise strategy.

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  • Tim Siu-Tang Leung & Kazutoshi Yamazaki, 2010. "American Step-Up and Step-Down Default Swaps under Levy Models," Papers 1012.3234,, revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1012.3234

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tim Leung & Ronnie Sircar, 2009. "Accounting For Risk Aversion, Vesting, Job Termination Risk And Multiple Exercises In Valuation Of Employee Stock Options," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 99-128.
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    1. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:18:y:2015:i:05:n:s0219024915500326 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jiao Li, 2016. "Trading VIX Futures under Mean Reversion with Regime Switching," Papers 1605.07945,, revised Jun 2016.
    3. Tim Leung & Kazutoshi Yamazaki & Hongzhong Zhang, 2015. "An Analytic Recursive Method For Optimal Multiple Stopping: Canadization And Phase-Type Fitting," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(05), pages 1-31.
    4. Egami, Masahiko & Leung, Tim & Yamazaki, Kazutoshi, 2013. "Default swap games driven by spectrally negative Lévy processes," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 347-384.
    5. Kazutoshi Yamazaki, 2016. "Optimality of two-parameter strategies in stochastic control," Papers 1605.04995,
    6. Hernández-Hernández, Daniel & Yamazaki, Kazutoshi, 2015. "Games of singular control and stopping driven by spectrally one-sided Lévy processes," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 1-38.

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