Multi-factor Bottom-up Model for Pricing Credit Derivatives
by Lung K. Tsui of the University of Pittsburgh
May 18, 2010
Abstract: In this note we continue the study of the stress event model, a simple and intuitive dynamic model for credit risky portfolios, proposed by Duffie and Singleton (1999). The model is a bottom-up version of the multi-factor portfolio credit model proposed by Longstaff and Rajan (2008). By a novel identification of independence conditions, we are able to decompose the loss distribution into a series expansion which not only provides a clear picture of the characteristics of the loss distribution but also suggests a fast and accurate approximation for it. Our approach has three important features: (i) it is able to match the standard CDS index tranche prices and the underlying CDS spreads, (ii) the computational speed of the loss distribution is very fast, comparable to that of the Gaussian copula, (iii) the computational cost for additional factors is mild, allowing for more flexibility for calibrations and opening the possibility of studying multi-factor default dependence of a portfolio via a bottom-up approach. We demonstrate the tractability and efficiency of our approach by calibrating it to investment grade CDS index tranches.
Keywords: credit derivatives, CDO, bottom-up approach, multi-name, intensity-based, risk and portfolio.