The structural model uses the firm-value process and the default threshold to obtain the implied credit spread. Merton’s (J Finance 29:449–470, 1974) credit spread is reported too small compared to the observed market spread. Zhou (J Bank Finance 25:2015–2040, 2001) proposes a jump-diffusion firm-value process and obtains a credit spread that is closer to the observed market spread. Going in a different direction, the reduced-form model uses the observed market credit spread to obtain the probability of default and the mean recovery rate. We use a jump-diffusion firm-value process and the observed credit spread to obtain the implied jump distribution. Therefore, the discrepancy in credit spreads between the structural model and the reduced-form model can be removed. From the market credit spread, we obtain the implied probability of default and the mean recovery rate. When the solvency-ratio process in credit risk and the surplus process in ruin theory both follow jump-diffusion processes, we show a bridge between ruin theory and credit risk so that results developed in ruin theory can be used to develop analogous results in credit risk. Specifically, when the jump is Logexponentially distributed, it results in a Beta distributed recovery rate that is close to market experience. For bonds of multiple seniorities, we obtain closed-form solutions of the mean and variance of the recovery rate. We prove that the defective renewal equation still holds, even if the jumps are possibly negative. Therefore, we can use ruin theory as a methodology for assessing credit ratings.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2008
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