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Correlated default with incomplete information

  • Giesecke, Kay
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    We propose a model of correlated multi-firm default with incomplete information. While public bond investors observe issuers' assets and defaults, we suppose that they are not informed about the threshold asset level at which a firm is liquidated. Bond investors form instead a prior on these thresholds. Stochastic dependence between default events is induced through correlated asset values and correlated default thresholds. The former results from dependence of firms on common macroeconomic factors, while the latter corresponds to direct inter-firm linkages. Having addressed this issuer interdependence, the predictions of our model are consistent with empirically well documented facts, in particular the clustering of defaults. We characterize joint conditional default probabilities as assessed by the imperfectly informed secondary market. The representation of dependence via (conditional) copulas is emphasized. We propose the default time copula as a consistent default correlation measure, which overcomes the limitations of existing covariance based measures. A case study is examined, where issuers' assets follow geometric Brownian motions and bond investors' threshold prior is uniform.

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    Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2002,30.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200230
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    1. M. Davis & V. Lo, 2001. "Infectious defaults," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(4), pages 382-387.
    2. Duffie, Darrell & Lando, David, 2001. "Term Structures of Credit Spreads with Incomplete Accounting Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 633-64, May.
    3. Robert A. Jarrow & David Lando & Fan Yu, 2005. "Default Risk And Diversification: Theory And Empirical Implications," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Robert A. Jarrow, 2001. "Counterparty Risk and the Pricing of Defaultable Securities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1765-1799, October.
    5. Giesecke, Kay, 2001. "Default compensator, incomplete information, and the term structure of credit spreads," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,8, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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