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A Random Matrix Approach to Credit Risk

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  • Michael C. Munnix
  • Rudi Schafer
  • Thomas Guhr

Abstract

We estimate generic statistical properties of a structural credit risk model by considering an ensemble of correlation matrices. This ensemble is set up by Random Matrix Theory. We demonstrate analytically that the presence of correlations severely limits the effect of diversification in a credit portfolio if the correlations are not identically zero. The existence of correlations alters the tails of the loss distribution considerably, even if their average is zero. Under the assumption of randomly fluctuating correlations, a lower bound for the estimation of the loss distribution is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael C. Munnix & Rudi Schafer & Thomas Guhr, 2011. "A Random Matrix Approach to Credit Risk," Papers 1102.3900, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1102.3900
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurent Laloux & Pierre Cizeau & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Marc Potters, 1998. "Noise dressing of financial correlation matrices," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500051, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    2. 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..
    3. Robert A. Jarrow & Stuart M. Turnbull, 2008. "Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 17, pages 377-409 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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