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A note on Wick products and the fractional Black-Scholes model

  • Economics


In some recent papers (Elliott and van der Hoek 2003; Hu and Øksendal 2003) a fractional Black-Scholes model has been proposed as an improvement of the classical Black-Scholes model (see also Benth 2003; Biagini et al. 2002; Biagini and Øksendal 2004). Common to these fractional Black-Scholes models is that the driving Brownian motion is replaced by a fractional Brownian motion and that the Itô integral is replaced by the Wick integral, and proofs have been presented that these fractional Black-Scholes models are free of arbitrage. These results on absence of arbitrage complelety contradict a number of earlier results in the literature which prove that the fractional Black-Scholes model (and related models) will in fact admit arbitrage. The objective of the present paper is to resolve this contradiction by pointing out that the definition of the self-financing trading strategies and/or the definition of the value of a portfolio used in the above papers does not have a reasonable economic interpretation, and thus that the results in these papers are not economically meaningful. In particular we show that in the framework of Elliott and van der Hoek 2003, a naive buy-and-hold strategy does not in general qualify as “self-financing”. We also show that in Hu and Øksendal 2003, a portfolio consisting of a positive number of shares of a stock with a positive price may, with positive probability, have a negative “value”. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

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