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When Did The Smart Money in Enron Lose Its' Smirk?

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  • Bruce Mizrach

    () (Rutgers University)

Abstract

The Enron Corporation went from a $65 billion dollar market capitalization to bankruptcy in just 16 months. Using statistical techniques for extracting the implied probability distributions built into option prices, I examine the market's expectation of Enron's risk of collapse. I find that the "smart money" remained far too optimistic about the stock until just weeks before their bankruptcy filing.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Mizrach, 2002. "When Did The Smart Money in Enron Lose Its' Smirk?," Departmental Working Papers 200224, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200224
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    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2002-24.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kuldeep Shastri & Kulpatra Wethyavivorn, 1987. "The Valuation Of Currency Options For Alternate Stochastic Processes," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 10(4), pages 283-293, December.
    2. Christoffersen, Peter F, 1998. "Evaluating Interval Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 841-862, November.
    3. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Rubinstein, Mark, 1996. " Recovering Probability Distributions from Option Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1611-1632, December.
    4. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 499-547, April.
    5. Bjerksund, Petter & Stensland, Gunnar, 1993. "Closed-form approximation of American options," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(Supplemen), pages 87-99.
    6. Bates, David S, 1991. " The Crash of '87: Was It Expected? The Evidence from Options Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 1009-1044, July.
    7. Das, Sanjiv Ranjan & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1999. "Of Smiles and Smirks: A Term Structure Perspective," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 211-239, June.
    8. Heston, Steven L, 1993. "A Closed-Form Solution for Options with Stochastic Volatility with Applications to Bond and Currency Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 327-343.
    9. Peter Christoffersen & Kris Jacobs, 2001. "The Importance of the Loss Function in Option Pricing," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-45, CIRANO.
    10. Barone-Adesi, Giovanni & Whaley, Robert E, 1987. " Efficient Analytic Approximation of American Option Values," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 301-320, June.
    11. Bates, David S., 2000. "Post-'87 crash fears in the S&P 500 futures option market," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 181-238.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Haas, Markus & Mittnik, Stefan & Mizrach, Bruce, 2006. "Assessing central bank credibility during the ERM crises: Comparing option and spot market-based forecasts," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 28-54, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Enron; implied probability distributions; options;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

    Statistics

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