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Securities Lending Strategies: Valuation of Term Loans using Option Theory

Ravi Kashyap

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Abstract: We develop models to price long term loans in the securities lending business. These longer horizon deals can be viewed as contracts with optionality embedded in them and can be priced using established methods from derivatives theory, becoming to our limited knowledge, the first application that can lead to greater synergies between the operations of derivative and delta-one trading desks, perhaps even being able to combine certain aspects of the day to day operations of these seemingly disparate entities. We run numerical simulations to demonstrate the practical applicability of these models. These models are part of one of the least explored yet profit laden areas of modern investment management. We develop a heuristic that can mitigate the loss of information that sets in when parameters are estimated first and then the valuation is performed by directly calculating the valuation using the historical time series. This can lead to reduced models errors and greater financial stability. We illustrate how the methodologies developed here could be useful for inventory management. All these techniques could have applications for dealing with other financial instruments, non-financial commodities and many forms of uncertainty. An unintended consequence of our efforts, has become a review of the vast literature on options pricing, which can be useful for anyone that attempts to apply the corresponding techniques to the problems mentioned here. Admittedly, our initial ambitions to produce a normative theory on long term loan valuations are undone by the present state of affairs in social science modeling. Though we consider many elements of a securities lending system at face value, this cannot be termed a positive theory. For now, if it ends up producing a useful theory, our work is done.

Date: 2016-09, Revised 2018-10
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