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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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Merton, Robert C., "Option Pricing when Underlying Stock Returns Are Discontinuous", Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1-2, (January-March 1976), pp. 125-144.

Abstract: The validity of the classic Black-Scholes option pricing formula depends on the capability of investors to follow a dynamic portfolio strategy in the stock that replicates the payoff structure to the option. The critical assumption required for such a strategy to be feasible, is that the underlying stock return dynamics can be described by a stochastic process with a continuous sample path. In this paper, an option pricing formula is derived for the more-general case when the underlying stock returns are generated by a mixture of both continuous and jump processes. The derived formula has most of the attractive features of the original Black-Scholes formula in that it does not depend on investor preferences or knowledge of the expected return on the underlying stock. Moreover, the same analysis applied to the options can be extended to the pricing of corporate liabilities.

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