The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Value-at-Risk (VaR) models often are used to estimate the equity investment that is required to limit the default rate on funding debt. Typical VaR "buffer stock" capital calculations produce biased estimates. To ensure accuracy, VaR must be modified by: (1) measuring loss relative to initial market value; and (2) augmenting VaR to account for the interest income required by investors. While this issue has been identified in the market risk setting, it has yet to be recognized in the credit risk literature. Credit VaR techniques, as typically described, are not an appropriate basis for setting equity capital allocations.