FORWARD-RATE VOLATILITIES AND THE SWAPTION MATRIX: WHY NEITHER TIME-HOMOGENEITY NOR TIME-DEPENDENCE ARE ENOUGH
This work presents the first systematic analysis of the whole swaption matrix by fitting a parsimonious, nonlinear, financially-inspired volatility model to market data. The study uses several years of data spanning period of major market volatility. We find that the quality of the fits is good (on average of the same magnitude as the bid-offer spread), and better when a displaced-diffusion approach is chosen, but some systematic shortcomings are observed and discussed. The analysis suggests that a two-regime Markov chain approach may be more successful and better financially motivated.More generally, the present study highlights the shortcomings of purely time-dependent or time-homogenous approaches. These findings should be applicable to other option markets as well.Finally, we find that the present (nonlinear) model vastly outperforms PCA-based approaches when in comes to predicting moves in implied volatilities.
Swaption pricing, calibration to swaption matrix, displaced diffusion, LIBOR Market Model
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