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Transition Probability Matrix Methodology for Incremental Risk Charge


  • Tzahi Yavin
  • Hu Zhang
  • Eugene Wang
  • Michael A. Clayton


As part of Basel II's incremental risk charge (IRC) methodology, this paper summarizes our extensive investigations of constructing transition probability matrices (TPMs) for unsecuritized credit products in the trading book. The objective is to create monthly or quarterly TPMs with predefined sectors and ratings that are consistent with the bank's Basel PDs. Constructing a TPM is not a unique process. We highlight various aspects of three types of uncertainties embedded in different construction methods: 1) the available historical data and the bank's rating philosophy; 2) the merger of one-year Basel PD and the chosen Moody's TPMs; and 3) deriving a monthly or quarterly TPM when the generator matrix does not exist. Given the fact that TPMs and specifically their PDs are the most important parameters in IRC, it is our view that banks may need to make discretionary choices regarding their methodology, with uncertainties well understood and managed.

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  • Tzahi Yavin & Hu Zhang & Eugene Wang & Michael A. Clayton, 2011. "Transition Probability Matrix Methodology for Incremental Risk Charge," Papers 1102.3857,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1102.3857

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    1. Robert A. Jarrow & David Lando & Stuart M. Turnbull, 2008. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 18, pages 411-453 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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