- Center for Financial Studies (CFS) (4) (remove)
- CDOs and systematic risk : why bond ratings are inadequate (2009)
- This paper analyzes the risk properties of typical asset-backed securities (ABS), like CDOs or MBS, relying on a model with both macroeconomic and idiosyncratic components. The examined properties include expected loss, loss given default, and macro factor dependencies. Using a two-dimensional loss decomposition as a new metric, the risk properties of individual ABS tranches can directly be compared to those of corporate bonds, within and across rating classes. By applying Monte Carlo Simulation, we find that the risk properties of ABS differ significantly and systematically from those of straight bonds with the same rating. In particular, loss given default, the sensitivities to macroeconomic risk, and model risk differ greatly between instruments. Our findings have implications for understanding the credit crisis and for policy making. On an economic level, our analysis suggests a new explanation for the observed rating inflation in structured finance markets during the pre-crisis period 2004-2007. On a policy level, our findings call for a termination of the 'one-size-fits-all' approach to the rating methodology for fixed income instruments, requiring an own rating methodology for structured finance instruments. JEL Classification: G21, G28
- Measuring ambiguity aversion: a systematic experimental approach : [Version 20 June 2014] (2014)
- This paper provides a systematic analysis of individual attitudes towards ambiguity, based on laboratory experiments. The design of the analysis allows to capture individual behavior across various levels of ambiguity, ranging from low to high. Attitudes towards risk and attitudes towards ambiguity are disentangled, providing pure measures of ambiguity aversion. Ambiguity aversion is captured in several ways, i.e. as a discount factor net of a risk premium, and as an estimated parameter in a generalized utility function. We find that ambiguity aversion varies across individuals, and with the level of ambiguity, being most prominent for intermediate levels. Around one third of subjects show no aversion, one third show maximum aversion, and one third show intermediate levels of ambiguity aversion, while there is almost no ambiguity seeking. While most theoretical work on ambiguity builds on maxmin expected utility, our results provide evidence that MEU does not adequately capture individual attitudes towards ambiguity for the majority of individuals. Instead, our results support models that allow for intermediate levels of ambiguity aversion. Moreover, we find risk aversion to be statistically unrelated to ambiguity aversion on average. Taken together, the results support the view that ambiguity is an important and distinct argument in decision making under uncertainty.
- Risk transfer with CDOs and systemic risk in banking (2006)
- Large banks often sell part of their loan portfolio in the form of collateralized debt obligations (CDO) to investors. In this paper we raise the question whether credit asset securitization affects the cyclicality (or commonality) of bank equity values. The commonality of bank equity values reflects a major component of systemic risks in the banking market, caused by correlated defaults of loans in the banks' loan books. Our simulations take into account the major stylized fact of CDO transactions, the non-proportional nature of risk sharing that goes along with tranching. We provide a theoretical framework for the risk transfer through securitization that builds on a macro risk factor and an idiosyncratic risk factor, allowing an identification of the types of risk that the individual tranche holders bear. This allows conclusions about the risk positions of issuing banks after risk transfer. Building on the strict subordination of tranches, we first evaluate the correlation properties both within and across risk classes. We then determine the effect of securitization on the systematic risk of all tranches, and derive its effect on the issuing bank's equity beta. The simulation results show that under plausible assumptions concerning bank reinvestment behaviour and capital structure choice, the issuing intermediary's systematic risk tends to rise. We discuss the implications of our findings for financial stability supervision. Klassifikation: G28
- Risk transfer with CDOs (2008)
- Modern bank management comprises both classical lending business and transfer of asset risk to capital markets through securitization. Sound knowledge of the risks involved in securitization transactions is a prerequisite for solid risk management. This paper aims to resolve a part of the opaqueness surrounding credit-risk allocation to tranches that represent claims of different seniority on a reference portfolio. In particular, this paper analyzes the allocation of credit risk to different tranches of a CDO transaction when the underlying asset returns are driven by a common macro factor and an idiosyncratic component. Junior and senior tranches are found to be nearly orthogonal, motivating a search for the whereabout of systematic risk in CDO transactions. We propose a metric for capturing the allocation of systematic risk to tranches. First, in contrast to a widely-held claim, we show that (extreme) tail risk in standard CDO transactions is held by all tranches. While junior tranches take on all types of systematic risk, senior tranches take on almost no non-tail risk. This is in stark contrast to an untranched bond portfolio of the same rating quality, which on average suffers substantial losses for all realizations of the macro factor. Second, given tranching, a shock to the risk of the underlying asset portfolio (e.g. a rise in asset correlation or in mean portfolio loss) has the strongest impact, in relative terms, on the exposure of senior tranche CDO-investors. Our findings can be used to explain major stylized facts observed in credit markets.