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The pricing of portfolio credit risk


  • Nikola A. Tarashev
  • Haibin Zhu


Equity and credit-default-swap (CDS) markets are in disagreement as to the extent to which asset returns co-move across firms. This suggests market segmentation and casts ambiguity about the asset-return correlations underpinning observed prices of portfolio credit risk. The ambiguity could be eliminated by – currently unavailable – data that reveal the market valuation of low-probability/large-impact events. At present, judicious assumptions about this valuation can be used to reconcile observed prices with asset-return correlations implied by either equity or CDS markets. These conclusions are based on an analysis of tranche spreads of a popular CDS index, which incorporate a rather small premium for correlation risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikola A. Tarashev & Haibin Zhu, 2006. "The pricing of portfolio credit risk," BIS Working Papers 214, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:214

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sanjiv R. Das & Darrell Duffie & Nikunj Kapadia & Leandro Saita, 2007. "Common Failings: How Corporate Defaults Are Correlated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 93-117, February.
    2. Daniel M. Covitz & Song Han, 2004. "An empirical analysis of bond recovery rates: exploring a structural view of default," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Koopman, Siem Jan & Lucas, André, 2008. "A Non-Gaussian Panel Time Series Model for Estimating and Decomposing Default Risk," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 510-525.
    4. John F. Geweke & Michael P. Keane, 1997. "Mixture of normals probit models," Staff Report 237, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2009. "A framework for assessing the systemic risk of major financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2036-2049, November.
    2. Huang, Xin & Zhou, Hao & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Assessing the systemic risk of a heterogeneous portfolio of banks during the recent financial crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 193-205.
    3. Malgorzata Olszak, 2012. "Macroprudential policy - aim, instruments and institutional architecture (Polityka ostroznosciowa w ujêciu makro - cel, instrumenty i architektura instytucjonalna)," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 10(39), pages 7-32.
    4. Palombini, Edgardo, 2009. "Factor models and the credit risk of a loan portfolio," MPRA Paper 20107, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    CDS index tranche; joint distribution of asset returns; correlation risk premium; copula;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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