Credit Risk Meets Random Matrices: Coping with Non-Stationary Asset Correlations
32 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2018
We review recent progress in modeling credit risk for correlated assets. We start from the Merton model which default events and losses are derived from the asset values at maturity. To estimate the time development of the asset values, the stock prices are used whose correlations have a strong impact on the loss distribution, particularly on its tails. These correlations are non-stationary which also influences the tails. We account for the asset fluctuations by averaging over an ensemble of random matrices that models the truly existing set of measured correlation matrices. As a most welcome side effect, this approach drastically reduces the parameter dependence of the loss distribution, allowing us to obtain very explicit results which show quantitatively that the heavy tails prevail over diversification benefits even for small correlations. We calibrate our random matrix model with market data and show how it is capable of grasping different market situations. Furthermore, we present numerical simulations for concurrent portfolio risks, i.e., for the joint probability densities of losses for two portfolios. For the convenience of the reader, we give an introduction to the Wishart random matrix model.
Keywords: Credit Risk, Financial Markets, Non-Stationarity, Random Matrices, Structural Models, Wishart Model
JEL Classification: G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation