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Credit contagion and aggregate losses

  • Giesecke, Kay
  • Weber, Stefan
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    Credit contagion refers to the propagation of economic distress from one firm or sovereign government to another. In this paper we model credit contagion phenomena and study the fluctuation of aggregate credit losses on large portfolios of financial positions. The joint dynamics of firms' credit ratings is modeled by a voter process, which is well-known in the theory of interacting particle systems. We clarify the structure of the equilibrium joint rating distribution using ergodic decomposition. We analyze the quantiles of the portfolio loss distribution and in particular their relation to the degree of model risk. After a proper re-scaling taking care of the heavy tails induced by the contagion dynamics, we provide a normal approximation of both the equilibrium rating distribution and the portfolio loss distribution.

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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 2002,73.

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    Date of creation: 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200273
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    1. 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.
    2. Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 2325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996. "Interbank lending and systemic risk," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
    4. 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.
    5. Giesecke, Kay, 2001. "Correlated default with incomplete information," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,30, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    6. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
    7. Stefan Weber & Kay Giesecke, 2003. "Credit Contagion and Aggregate Losses," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 246, Society for Computational Economics.
    8. 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.
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