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Mathematical Finance's Blog

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POSITIVE ALPHAS, ABNORMAL PERFORMANCE, AND ILLUSORY ARBITRAGE

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

Jensen’s alpha is well known to be a measure of abnormal performance in the evaluation of securities and portfolios where abnormal performance is defined to be an expected return that exceeds the equilibrium risk adjusted rate. It is also well known that in estimating Jensen’s alpha, a nonzero value can be obtained by using incorrect factors or not employing time varying betas. This paper makes two additional contributions to the performance evaluation literature. First, we show that a stronger...

ON SURRENDER AND DEFAULT RISKS

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

This paper examines certain types of saving institutions or insurance companies that are subject to surrender and default risks, in a stochastic interest rate context. In the setting under study, investors are endowed with an option to surrender. The goal of the paper is to study how this option impacts the default risk of the issuing company and the value of the contracts it issues. Surrender risk has been extensively studied in arbitrated markets, using trees or least‐squares Monte Carlo...

CONTINUOUSLY MONITORED BARRIER OPTIONS UNDER MARKOV PROCESSES

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

In this paper, we present an algorithm for pricing barrier options in one‐dimensional Markov models. The approach rests on the construction of an approximating continuous‐time Markov chain that closely follows the dynamics of the given Markov model. We illustrate the method by implementing it for a range of models, including a local Lévy process and a local volatility jump‐diffusion. We also provide a convergence proof and error estimates for this algorithm.

SIMPLE PROCESSES AND THE PRICING AND HEDGING OF CLIQUETS

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

For data on market prices for 246 cliquets we consider pricing these exotic options using a relatively simple path space. The path space is subsequently stressed to market implied stress levels as well as stress levels predicted from contract characteristics. An additive process transitioning from a Sato process to a Levy process is formulated and estimated on vanilla options. Ask prices constructed from predicted stress levels are observed to have an in sample correlation of 92% with market...

GENERALIZED SUPERMARTINGALE DEFLATORS UNDER LIMITED INFORMATION

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

We undertake a study of markets from the perspective of a financial agent with limited access to information. The set of wealth processes available to the agent is structured with reasonable economic properties, instead of the usual practice of taking it to consist of stochastic integrals against a semimartingale integrator. We obtain the equivalence of the boundedness in probability of the set of terminal wealth outcomes (which in turn is equivalent to the weak market viability condition of...

THE NORMALIZING TRANSFORMATION OF THE IMPLIED VOLATILITY SMILE

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

We study specific nonlinear transformations of the Black–Scholes implied volatility to show remarkable properties of the volatility surface. No arbitrage bounds on the implied volatility skew are given. Pricing formulas for European payoffs are given in terms of the implied volatility smile.

THE EXPECTED SHORTFALL OF QUADRATIC PORTFOLIOS WITH HEAVY‐TAILED RISK FACTORS

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

Computable expressions are derived for the Expected Shortfall of portfolios whose value is a quadratic function of a number of risk factors, as arise from a Delta–Gamma–Theta approximation. The risk factors are assumed to follow an elliptical multivariate t distribution, reflecting the heavy‐tailed nature of asset returns. Both an exact expression and a uniform asymptotic expansion are presented. The former involves only a single rapidly convergent integral. The latter is essentially explicit,...

ANALYTIC APPROXIMATIONS FOR MULTI‐ASSET OPTION PRICING

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

We derive general analytic approximations for pricing European basket and rainbow options on N assets. The key idea is to express the option’s price as a sum of prices of various compound exchange options, each with different pairs of subordinate multi‐ or single‐asset options. The underlying asset prices are assumed to follow lognormal processes, although our results can be extended to certain other price processes for the underlying. For some multi‐asset options a strong condition holds,...

TRANSIENT LINEAR PRICE IMPACT AND FREDHOLM INTEGRAL EQUATIONS

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

We consider the linear‐impact case in the continuous‐time market impact model with transient price impact proposed by Gatheral. In this model, the absence of price manipulation in the sense of Huberman and Stanzl can easily be characterized by means of Bochner’s theorem. This allows us to study the problem of minimizing the expected liquidation costs of an asset position under constraints on the trading times. We prove that optimal strategies can be characterized as measure‐valued solutions of...

PERPETUAL CANCELLABLE AMERICAN CALL OPTION

February 15, 2012 Comments (0)

This paper examines the valuation of a generalized American‐style option known as a game‐style call option in an infinite time horizon setting. The specifications of this contract allow the writer to terminate the call option at any point in time for a fixed penalty amount paid directly to the holder. Valuation of a perpetual game‐style put option was addressed by Kyprianou (2004) in a Black‐Scholes setting on a nondividend paying asset. Here, we undertake a similar analysis for the perpetual...