- Utility-based proof for the existence of strictly consistent price processes under proportional transaction costs (2012)
- This thesis deals with the relationship between no-arbitrage and (strictly) consistent price processes for a financial market with proportional transaction costs in a discrete time model. The exact mathematical statement behind this relationship is formulated in the so-called Fundamental Theorem of Asset Pricing (FTAP). Among the many proofs of the FTAP without transaction costs there is also an economic intuitive utility-based approach. It relies on the economic intuitive fact that the investor can maximize his expected utility from terminal wealth. This approach is rather constructive since the equivalent martingale measure is then given by the marginal utility evaluated at the optimal terminal payoff. However, in the presence of proportional transaction costs such a utility-based approach for the existence of consistent price processes is missing in the literature. So far, rather deep methods from functional analysis or from the theory of random sets have been used to show the FTAP under proportional transaction costs. For the sake of existence of a utility-maximizing payoff we first concentrate on a generic single-period model with only one risky asset. The marignal utility evaluated at the optimal terminal payoff yields the first component of a consistent price process. The second component is given by the bid-ask prices depending on the investors optimal action. Even more is true: nearby this consistent price process there are many strictly consistent price processes. Their exact structure allows us to apply this utility-maximizing argument in a multi-period model. In a backwards induction we adapt the given bid-ask prices in such a way so that the strictly consistent price processes found from maximizing utility can be extended to terminal time. In addition possible arbitrage opportunities of the 2nd kind vanish which can present for the original bid-ask process. The notion of arbitrage opportunities of the 2nd kind has been so far investigated only in models with strict costs in every state. In our model transaction costs need not be present in every state. For a model with finitely many risky assets a similar idea is applicable. However, in the single-period case we need to develop new methods compared to the single-period case with only one risky asset. There are mainly two reasons for that. Firstly, it is not at all obvious how to get a consistent price process from the utility-maximizing payoff, since the consistent price process has to be found for all assets simultaneously. Secondly, we need to show directly that the so-called vector space property for null payoffs implies the robust no-arbitrage condition. Once this step is accomplished we can à priori use prices with a smaller spread than the original ones so that the consistent price process found from the utility-maximizing payoff is strictly consistent for the original prices. To make the results applicable for the multi-period case we assume that the prices are given by compact and convex random sets. Then the multi-period case is similar to the case with only one risky asset but more demanding with regard to technical questions.