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The Market Price of Credit Risk: An Empirical Analysis of Interest Rate Swap Spreads

  • Jun Liu
  • Francis A. Longstaff
  • Ravit E. Mandell

This paper studies the market price of credit risk incorporated into one of the most important credit spreads in the financial markets: interest rate swap spreads. Our approach consists of jointly modeling the swap and Treasury term structures using a general five-factor affine credit framework and estimating the parameters by maximum likelihood. We solve for the implied special financing rate for Treasury bonds and find that the liquidity component of on-the-run bond prices can be significant. We also find that credit premia in swap spreads are positive on average. These premia, however, vary significantly over time and were actually negative for much of the 1990s.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8990.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8990.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
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Publication status: published as Liu, Jun, Francis A. Longstaff, and Ravit Mandell. "The Market Price of Risk in Interest Rate Swaps: The Roles of Default and Liquidity Risks." The Journal of Business 79, 5 (September 2006): 2337-2360.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8990
Note: AP
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  12. David A. Chapman & John B. Long Jr. & Neil D. Pearson, 1998. "Using Proxies for the Short Rate: When are Three Months Like an Instant?," Finance 9808004, EconWPA, revised 07 Oct 1998.
  13. Sun, Tong-sheng & Sundaresan, Suresh & Wang, Ching, 1993. "Interest rate swaps: An empirical investigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 77-99, August.
  14. Darrell Duffie & Lasse Heje Pedersen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2003. "Modeling Sovereign Yield Spreads: A Case Study of Russian Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 119-159, 02.
  15. Hua He, 2000. "Modeling Term Structures of Swap Spreads," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm150, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
  16. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1995. " A Simple Approach to Valuing Risky Fixed and Floating Rate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 789-819, July.
  17. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1999. "Modeling Term Structures of Defaultable Bonds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 687-720.
  18. Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "An Econometric Model of the Yield Curve with Macroeconomic Jump Effects," NBER Working Papers 8246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  20. Bicksler, James & Chen, Andrew H, 1986. " An Economic Analysis of Interest Rate Swaps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 645-55, July.
  21. Knez, Peter J & Litterman, Robert & Scheinkman, Jose Alexandre, 1994. " Explorations into Factors Explaining Money Market Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1861-82, December.
  22. Longstaff, Francis A & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 2000. "The Relative Valuation of Caps and Swaptions: Theory and Empirical Evidence," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt65f1914p, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  23. Litzenberger, Robert H, 1992. " Swaps: Plain and Fanciful," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 831-50, July.
  24. Mark Grinblatt, 2001. "An Analytic Solution for Interest Rate Swap Spreads," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 2(3), pages 113-149.
  25. Longstaff, Francis A., 2000. "The term structure of very short-term rates: New evidence for the expectations hypothesis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 397-415, December.
  26. Jarrow, Robert A & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1995. " Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 53-85, March.
  27. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1992. " Interest Rate Volatility and the Term Structure: A Two-Factor General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1259-82, September.
  28. Cooper, Ian A & Mello, Antonio S, 1991. " The Default Risk of Swaps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 597-620, June.
  29. Buraschi, Andrea & Menini, Davide, 2002. "Liquidity risk and specialness," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 243-284, May.
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