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The dramatic evolution of financial markets in the 1980s and 1990s, accompanied by increasing institutional integration between nations (most notably in the EU), have fostered a widespread belief that governments - particularly those of small economies - have essentially lost the power to pursue sovereign, independent economic policies. At the same time, it is widely assumed that the loss of monetary-policy control is a major opportunity cost for a country adopting a rigid exchange-rate regime or, in the European context, for countries joining the EMU. This volume assesses the impact of monetary and financial integration on small "open-economy", "policy-taking" countries in western Europe.
This volume is a follow up to its highly influential predecessor, "Options for Britain," which in 1995 brought together a leading group of academics and policy experts to assess the key economic, social and constitutional policy options for Britain.
Modern option pricing theory was developed in the late sixties and early seventies by F. Black, R. e. Merton and M. Scholes as an analytical tool for pricing and hedging option contracts and over-the-counter warrants. How- ever, already in the seminal paper by Black and Scholes, the applicability of the model was regarded as much broader. In the second part of their paper, the authors demonstrated that a levered firm's equity can be regarded as an option on the value of the firm, and thus can be priced by option valuation techniques. A year later, Merton showed how the default risk structure of cor- porate bonds can be determined by option pricing techniques. Option pricing models are now used to price virtually the full range of financial instruments and financial guarantees such as deposit insurance and collateral, and to quantify the associated risks. Over the years, option pricing has evolved from a set of specific models to a general analytical framework for analyzing the production process of financial contracts and their function in the financial intermediation process in a continuous time framework. However, very few attempts have been made in the literature to integrate game theory aspects, i. e. strategic financial decisions of the agents, into the continuous time framework. This is the unique contribution of the thesis of Dr. Alexandre Ziegler. Benefiting from the analytical tractability of contin- uous time models and the closed form valuation models for derivatives, Dr.
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