47 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2015 Last revised: 5 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 1, 2019
We define and construct a credit-implied volatility (CIV) surface from the firm-by-maturity panel of CDS spreads. We use this framework to organize the behavior of corporate credit markets into three stylized facts. First, CIV exhibits a steep moneyness smirk. Second, the joint dynamics of credit spreads on all firms are captured by three interpretable factors in the CIV surface. Third, the cross section of CDS risk premia is fully explained by exposures to CIV surface shocks. We propose a structural model for joint asset behavior of all firms that is characterized by stochastic volatility and time-varying downside tail risk in aggregate asset growth.
Keywords: CDS, credit risk, implied volatility
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