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Regularities and Discrepancies of Credit Default Swaps: a Data Science approach through Benford's Law

Listed author(s):
  • Marcel Ausloos
  • Rosella Castellano
  • Roy Cerqueti

In this paper, we search whether the Benford's law is applicable to monitor daily changes in sovereign Credit Default Swaps (CDS) quotes, which are acknowledged to be complex systems of economic content. This test is of paramount importance since the CDS of a country proxy its health and probability to default, being associated to an insurance against the event of its default. We fit the Benford's law to the daily changes in sovereign CDS spreads for 13 European countries, - both inside and outside the European Union and European Monetary Union. Two different tenors for the sovereign CDS contracts are considered: 5 yrs and 10 yrs, - the former being the reference and most liquid one. The time period under investigation is 2008-2015 which includes the period of distress caused by the European sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, (i) an analysis over relevant sub-periods is carried out, (ii) several insights are provided also by implementing the tracking of the Benford's law over moving windows. The main test for checking the conformance to Benford's law is - as usual - the $\chi^{2}$ test, whose values are presented and discussed for all cases. The analysis is further completed by elaborations based on Chebyshev's distance and Kullback and Leibler's divergence. The results highlight differences by countries and tenors. In particular, these results suggest that liquidity seems to be associated to higher levels of distortion. Greece - representing a peculiar case - shows a very different path with respect to the other European countries.

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File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.01103
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Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1603.01103.

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Date of creation: Mar 2016
Publication status: Published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 90 (2016) 8-17
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1603.01103
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://arxiv.org/

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  10. Rosella Castellano & Rita D’Ecclesia, 2013. "CDS volatility: the key signal of credit quality," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 205(1), pages 89-107, May.
  11. Tariq Ahmad Mir & Marcel Ausloos & Roy Cerqueti, 2014. "Benford's law predicted digit distribution of aggregated income taxes: the surprising conformity of Italian cities and regions," Papers 1410.2890, arXiv.org.
  12. Rosella Castellano & Luisa Scaccia, 2014. "Can CDS indexes signal future turmoils in the stock market? A Markov switching perspective," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 22(2), pages 285-305, June.
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  14. Cont, R., 2010. "Credit default swaps and financial stability," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 14, pages 35-43, July.
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  16. Mir, T.A., 2014. "The Benford law behavior of the religious activity data," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 408(C), pages 1-9.
  17. Carrera, César, 2014. "Tracking the Exchange Rate Management in Latin America," Working Papers 2014-020, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  18. Markose, Sheri & Giansante, Simone & Shaghaghi, Ali Rais, 2012. "‘Too interconnected to fail’ financial network of US CDS market: Topological fragility and systemic risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 627-646.
  19. Mir, T.A., 2012. "The law of the leading digits and the world religions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(3), pages 792-798.
  20. Jack Bao & Jun Pan & Jiang Wang, 2011. "The Illiquidity of Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(3), pages 911-946, 06.
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