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Are CDS spreads predictable? An analysis of linear and non-linear forecasting models

Avino, Davide and Nneji, Ogonna (2012): Are CDS spreads predictable? An analysis of linear and non-linear forecasting models.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the forecasting performance for CDS spreads of both linear and non-linear models by analysing the iTraxx Europe index during the financial crisis period which began in mid-2007. The statistical and economic significance of the models’ forecasts are evaluated by employing various metrics and trading strategies, respectively. Although these models provide good in-sample performances, we find that the non-linear Markov switching models underperform linear models out-of-sample. In general, our results show some evidence of predictability of iTraxx index spreads. Linear models, in particular, generate positive Sharpe ratios for some of the strategies implemented, thus shedding some doubts on the efficiency of the European CDS index market.

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