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Our popular course Introduction to QuantLib Development will be taking place June 18-20th, 2018.


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Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Strict local martingales and optimal investment in a Black–Scholes model with a bubble
Abstract There are two major streams of literature on the modeling of financial bubbles: the strict local martingale framework and the Johansen–Ledoit–Sornette (JLS) financial bubble model. Based on a class of models that embeds the JLS model and can exhibit strict local martingale behavior, we clarify the connection between these previously disconnected approaches. While the original JLS model is never a strict local martingale, there are relaxations that can be strict local martingales and that preserve the key assumption of a log‐periodic power law for the hazard rate of the time of the...
98 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Backward SDEs for control with partial information
Abstract This paper considers a non‐Markov control problem arising in a financial market where asset returns depend on hidden factors. The problem is non‐Markov because nonlinear filtering is required to make inference on these factors, and hence the associated dynamic program effectively takes the filtering distribution as one of its state variables. This is of significant difficulty because the filtering distribution is a stochastic probability measure of infinite dimension, and therefore the dynamic program has a state that cannot be differentiated in the traditional sense. This lack of...
98 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Credit portfolio selection with decaying contagion intensities
Abstract We develop a fixed‐income portfolio framework capturing the exponential decay of contagious intensities between successive default events. We show that the value function of the control problem is the classical solution to a recursive system of second‐order uniformly parabolic Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman partial differential equations. We analyze the interplay between risk premia, decay of default intensities, and their volatilities. Our comparative statics analysis finds that the investor chooses to go long only if he is capturing enough risk premia. If the default intensities...
104 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Corporate security prices in structural credit risk models with incomplete information
Abstract The paper studies derivative asset analysis in structural credit risk models where the asset value of the firm is not fully observable. It is shown that in order to determine the price dynamics of traded securities, one needs to solve a stochastic filtering problem for the asset value. We transform this problem to a filtering problem for a stopped diffusion process and apply results from the filtering literature to this problem. In this way, we obtain an stochastic partial differential equation characterization for the filter density. Moreover, we characterize the default intensity...
104 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Robust Markowitz mean‐variance portfolio selection under ambiguous covariance matrix
Abstract This paper studies a robust continuous‐time Markowitz portfolio selection problem where the model uncertainty affects the covariance matrix of multiple risky assets. This problem is formulated into a min–max mean‐variance problem over a set of nondominated probability measures that is solved by a McKean–Vlasov dynamic programming approach, which allows us to characterize the solution in terms of a Bellman–Isaacs equation in the Wasserstein space of probability measures. We provide explicit solutions for the optimal robust portfolio strategies and illustrate our results in the case of...
105 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled The limits of leverage
Abstract When trading incurs proportional costs, leverage can scale an asset's return only up to a maximum multiple, which is sensitive to its volatility and liquidity. In a model with one safe and one risky asset, with constant investment opportunities and proportional costs, we find strategies that maximize long‐term returns given average volatility. As leverage increases, rising rebalancing costs imply declining Sharpe ratios. Beyond a critical level, even returns decline. Holding the Sharpe ratio constant, higher asset volatility leads to superior returns through lower costs.
109 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled The characteristic function of rough Heston models
Abstract It has been recently shown that rough volatility models, where the volatility is driven by a fractional Brownian motion with small Hurst parameter, provide very relevant dynamics in order to reproduce the behavior of both historical and implied volatilities. However, due to the non‐Markovian nature of the fractional Brownian motion, they raise new issues when it comes to derivatives pricing. Using an original link between nearly unstable Hawkes processes and fractional volatility models, we compute the characteristic function of the log‐price in rough Heston models. In the classical...
109 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Convex duality for Epstein–Zin stochastic differential utility
Abstract This paper introduces a dual problem to study a continuous‐time consumption and investment problem with incomplete markets and Epstein–Zin stochastic differential utilities. Duality between the primal and dual problems is established. Consequently, the optimal strategy of this consumption and investment problem is identified without assuming several technical conditions on market models, utility specifications, and agent's admissible strategies. Meanwhile, the minimizer of the dual problem is identified as the utility gradient of the primal value and is economically interpreted as...
109 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Distribution‐constrained optimal stopping
Abstract We solve the problem of optimal stopping of a Brownian motion subject to the constraint that the stopping time's distribution is a given measure consisting of finitely many atoms. In particular, we show that this problem can be converted to a finite sequence of state‐constrained optimal control problems with additional states corresponding to the conditional probability of stopping at each possible terminal time. The proof of this correspondence relies on a new variation of the dynamic programming principle for state‐constrained problems, which avoids measurable selections. We...
109 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled A unified approach to systemic risk measures via acceptance sets
Abstract We specify a general methodological framework for systemic risk measures via multidimensional acceptance sets and aggregation functions. Existing systemic risk measures can usually be interpreted as the minimal amount of cash needed to secure the system after aggregating individual risks. In contrast, our approach also includes systemic risk measures that can be interpreted as the minimal amount of cash that secures the aggregated system by allocating capital to the single institutions before aggregating the individual risks. An important feature of our approach is the possibility of...
109 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Semi‐efficient valuations and put‐call parity
Abstract We propose an approach to the valuation of payoffs in general semimartingale models of financial markets where prices are nonnegative. Each asset price can hit 0; we only exclude that this ever happens simultaneously for all assets. We start from two simple, economically motivated axioms, namely, absence of arbitrage (in the sense of NUPBR) and absence of relative arbitrage among all buy‐and‐hold strategies (called static efficiency). A valuation process for a payoff is then called semi‐efficient consistent if the financial market enlarged by that process still satisfies this...
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Risk management with weighted VaR
Abstract This article studies the optimal portfolio selection of expected utility‐maximizing investors who must also manage their market‐risk exposures. The risk is measured by a so‐called weighted value‐at‐risk (WVaR) risk measure, which is a generalization of both value‐at‐risk (VaR) and expected shortfall (ES). The feasibility, well‐posedness, and existence of the optimal solution are examined. We obtain the optimal solution (when it exists) and show how risk measures change asset allocation patterns. In particular, we characterize three classes of risk measures: the first class will lead...
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled The valuation of American options in a multidimensional exponential Lévy model
Abstract We consider the problem of valuation of American options written on dividend‐paying assets whose price dynamics follow a multidimensional exponential Lévy model. We carefully examine the relation between the option prices, related partial integro‐differential variational inequalities, and reflected backward stochastic differential equations. In particular, we prove regularity results for the value function and obtain the early exercise premium formula for a broad class of payoff functions.
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Error analysis of finite difference and Markov chain approximations for option pricing
Abstract Mijatović and Pistorius proposed an efficient Markov chain approximation method for pricing European and barrier options in general one‐dimensional Markovian models. However, sharp convergence rates of this method for realistic financial payoffs, which are nonsmooth, are rarely available. In this paper, we solve this problem for general one‐dimensional diffusion models, which play a fundamental role in financial applications. For such models, the Markov chain approximation method is equivalent to the method of lines using the central difference. Our analysis is based on the spectral...
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Option pricing in the moderate deviations regime
Abstract We consider call option prices close to expiry in diffusion models, in an asymptotic regime (“moderately out of the money”) that interpolates between the well‐studied cases of at‐the‐money and out‐of‐the‐money regimes. First and higher order small‐time moderate deviation estimates of call prices and implied volatilities are obtained. The expansions involve only simple expressions of the model parameters, and we show how to calculate them for generic local and stochastic volatility models. Some numerical computations for the Heston model illustrate the accuracy of our results.
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled The optimal method for pricing Bermudan options by simulation
Abstract Least‐squares methods enable us to price Bermudan‐style options by Monte Carlo simulation. They are based on estimating the option continuation value by least‐squares. We show that the Bermudan price is maximized when this continuation value is estimated near the exercise boundary, which is equivalent to implicitly estimating the optimal exercise boundary by using the value‐matching condition. Localization is the key difference with respect to global regression methods, but is fundamental for optimal exercise decisions and requires estimation of the continuation value by iterating...
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Consistent recalibration of yield curve models
Abstract The analytical tractability of affine (short rate) models, such as the Vasiček and the Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) models, has made them a popular choice for modeling the dynamics of interest rates. However, in order to properly account for the dynamics of real data, these models must exhibit time‐dependent or even stochastic parameters. This breaks their tractability, and modeling and simulating become an arduous task. We introduce a new class of Heath–Jarrow–Morton (HJM) models that both fit the dynamics of real market data and remain tractable. We call these models consistent...
180 days ago
Mathematical Finance wrote a new blog post titled Liquidity effects of trading frequency
Abstract In this paper, we present a discrete‐time modeling framework, in which the shape and dynamics of a Limit Order Book (LOB) arise endogenously from an equilibrium between multiple market participants (agents). We use the proposed modeling framework to analyze the effects of trading frequency on market liquidity in a very general setting. In particular, we demonstrate the dual effect of high trading frequency. On the one hand, the higher frequency increases market efficiency, if the agents choose to provide liquidity in equilibrium. On the other hand, it also makes markets more fragile,...
180 days ago