There are different rates curve to compound prices. Since the crisis, regulators tends to favor price compounding with swap curves over IR curves deduced from governments bonds (EU regulators, french bonds for example).

What is the rationale behind this choice ? Is this to avoid negative rates ? Is this to avoid a risk premium on countries ? To include a risk premium on banks ? A liquidity problem ? An easy solution as swap are directly quoted in Bloomberg / Reuters ?


Often the choice of discount curves are dependent upon the context of the assets/liabilities being valued.

Banks, for example who have active and to-the-second accurate valuations of these due to active trading desks reporting daily mark-to-market should have more accurate curves, so that all of their operations are consistently valued and do not lead to systematic loopholes with respect to reporting.

Pension liabilities in Euroland for example are discounted with an 'ultimate forward rate' (UFR) curve which sets a minimum constant rate at which to discount liabilities. In this context there are two major reasons; it reduces the volatility of the valuations prohibiting constant rehedging (which would be more transaction costs for pensioners) and also given the current level of low rates (and high discount factors) it allows all European pension funds from avoiding reporting perilously low levels of capital compared with the 'true' value of liabilities.

Choosing swap curves over bonds curves in Euroland also has two major advantages; 1) it allows consistent valuation from country to country even when the respective countries' GBs have considerably different yield levels, due to each respective state's financial position. 2) Swap curves are well defined, smooth and have an active market, whereas some countries' bond curves are sparsely populated and somewhat irrational accounting for the commodity like nature of certain bonds with certain coupons, etc.


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