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Importance sampling for portfolio credit risk. (English) Zbl 1232.91621
Summary: Monte Carlo simulation is widely used to measure the credit risk in portfolios of loans, corporate bonds, and other instruments subject to possible default. The accurate measurement of credit risk is often a rare-event simulation problem because default probabilities are low for highly rated obligors and because risk management is particularly concerned with rare but significant losses resulting from a large number of defaults. This makes importance sampling (IS) potentially attractive. But the application of IS is complicated by the mechanisms used to model dependence between obligors, and capturing this dependence is essential to a portfolio view of credit risk. This paper provides an IS procedure for the widely used normal copula model of portfolio credit risk. The procedure has two parts: One applies IS conditional on a set of common factors affecting multiple obligors, the other applies IS to the factors themselves. The relative importance of the two parts of the procedure is determined by the strength of the dependence between obligors. We provide both theoretical and numerical support for the method.

91G10 Portfolio theory
91G60 Numerical methods (including Monte Carlo methods)
65C05 Monte Carlo methods
91G40 Credit risk
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