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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

HELMUT MAUSSER and DAN ROSEN

The risk/return trade‐off has been a central tenet of portfolio management since the seminal work of Markowitz [1952]. The basic premise, that higher (expected) returns…

Abstract

The risk/return trade‐off has been a central tenet of portfolio management since the seminal work of Markowitz [1952]. The basic premise, that higher (expected) returns can only be achieved at the expense of greater risk, leads naturally to the concept of an efficient frontier. The efficient frontier defines the maximum return that can be achieved for a given level of risk or, alternatively, the minimum risk that must be incurred to earn a given return. Traditionally, market risk has been measured by the variance (or standard deviation) of portfolio returns, and this measure is now widely used for credit risk management as well. For example, in the popular Credit‐Metrics methodology (J.P. Morgan [1997]), the standard deviation of credit losses is used to compute the marginal risk and risk contribution of an obligor. Kealhofer [1998] also uses standard deviation to measure the marginal risk and, further, discusses the application of mean‐variance optimization to compute efficient portfolios. While this is reasonable when the distribution of gains and losses is normal, variance is an inappropriate measure of risk for the highly skewed, fat‐tailed distributions characteristic of portfolios that incur credit risk. In this case, quantile‐based measures that focus on the tail of the loss distribution more accurately capture the risk of the portfolio. In this article, we construct credit risk efficient frontiers for a portfolio of bonds issued in emerging markets, using not only the variance but also quantile‐based risk measures such as expected shortfall, maximum (percentile) losses, and unexpected (percentile) losses.

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The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

HELMUT MAUSSER

Quantile‐based measures of risk, e.g., value at risk (VaR), are widely used in portfolio risk applications. Increasing attention is being directed toward managing risk…

Abstract

Quantile‐based measures of risk, e.g., value at risk (VaR), are widely used in portfolio risk applications. Increasing attention is being directed toward managing risk, which involves identifying sources of risk and assessing the economic impact of potential trades. This article compares the performance of two quantile‐based VaR estimators commonly applied to assess the market risk of option portfolios and the credit risk of bond portfolios.

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The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2001

Helmut Mausser and Dan Rosen

Standard market risk optimization tools, based on assumptions of normality, are ineffective for evaluating credit risk. In this article, the authors develop three scenario…

Abstract

Standard market risk optimization tools, based on assumptions of normality, are ineffective for evaluating credit risk. In this article, the authors develop three scenario optimization models for portfolio credit risk. They first create the trading risk profile and find the best hedge position for a single asset or obligor. The second model adjusts all positions simultaneously to minimize the regret of the portfolio subject to general linear restrictions. Finally, a credit risk‐return efficient frontier is constructed using parametric programming. While scenario optimization of quantile‐based credit risk measures leads to problems that are not generally tractable, regret is a relevant and tractable measure that can be optimized using linear programming. The three models are applied to optimizing the risk‐return profile of a portfolio of emerging market bonds.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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