Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives

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Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives


Sundaresan, S. (2009). Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives (3rd ed.). Academic Press.

Chapter Summary

Part 1: Institutions and Conventions

Chapter 1: Overview of Fixed Income Markets

  • Introduces debt securities, their markets, and key players.
  • Discusses the characteristics of debt securities and the risks involved, such as interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, and others.
  • Examines examples of U.S. Treasury and General Motors debt securities to illustrate different risk profiles.

Chapter 2: Price-Yield Conventions

  • Covers concepts of compounding, discounting, and yield to maturity.
  • Discusses the relationship between price and yield for Treasury bills, notes, and bonds.
  • Explains conventions in various markets.

Chapter 3: Federal Reserve (Central Bank) and Fixed Income Markets

  • Describes the role of central banks, particularly the Federal Reserve, in fixed income markets.
  • Details monetary policies and tools like open market operations and the discount window.
  • Analyzes the Fed’s actions during the 2007-2008 credit crisis.

Chapter 4: Organization and Transparency of Fixed Income Markets

  • Explores the structure and transparency of primary and secondary markets.
  • Discusses the role of interdealer brokers and market transparency indicators.
  • Reviews the evolution and trading characteristics of secondary markets.

Chapter 5: Financing Debt Securities: Repurchase (Repo) Agreements

  • Defines repo and reverse repo contracts.
  • Explains how repos are used for secured lending and managing short and long positions.
  • Discusses general and special collateral repo agreements and market developments.

Chapter 6: Auctions of Treasury Debt Securities

  • Outlines the process and mechanisms of Treasury debt auctions.
  • Examines auction theory, uniform price, and discriminatory auctions.
  • Analyzes empirical evidence and auction cycles.

Part 2: Analytics of Fixed Income Markets

Chapter 7: Bond Mathematics: DV01, Duration, and Convexity

  • Introduces DV01/PVBP, duration, and convexity.
  • Explains trading and hedging strategies, including spread trades and butterfly trades.
  • Covers effective duration and convexity.

Chapter 8: Yield Curve and the Term Structure

  • Analyzes the yield curve and term structure.
  • Discusses principal components, volatility, and economic news impacts on the yield curve.
  • Explains bootstrapping procedures and forward rates.

Chapter 9: Models of Yield Curve and the Term Structure

  • Reviews models like the Vasicek and Cox-Ingersoll-Ross models.
  • Discusses calibration to market data and interest rate derivatives.
  • Reviews one-factor models.

Chapter 10: Modeling Credit Risk and Corporate Debt Securities

  • Covers defaults, business cycles, and rating agencies.
  • Explains structural models of default, including the KMV approach.
  • Discusses costs of financial distress, corporate debt pricing, and reduced-form models.

Part 3: Some Fixed Income Market Segments

Chapter 11: Mortgages, Federal Agencies, and Agency Debt

  • Reviews mortgage contracts, risks, and types of mortgages.
  • Discusses federal agencies and their roles in the debt markets.
  • Analyzes federal agency debt securities.

Chapter 12: Mortgage-Backed Securities

  • Introduces mortgage-backed securities and securitization processes.
  • Examines prepayment risks and factors affecting prepayments.
  • Discusses valuation frameworks for pass-through MBS and REMIC structures.

Chapter 13: Inflation-Linked Debt: Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)

  • Provides an overview of inflation-indexed debt and the role of TIPS.
  • Details the design, cash flow structures, and risks of TIPS.
  • Analyzes real yields, nominal yields, and break-even inflation.

Part 4: Fixed Income Derivatives

Chapter 14: Derivatives on Overnight Interest Rates

  • Discusses Fed Funds futures contracts and Overnight Index Swaps (OIS).
  • Explains the valuation of OIS and spreads with other money market yields.

Chapter 15: Eurodollar Futures Contracts

  • Covers Eurodollar markets, LIBOR, and Eurodollar futures.
  • Discusses deriving swap rates, intermarket spreads, and options on ED futures.

Chapter 16: Interest-Rate Swaps

  • Explains swaps and swap-related products.
  • Details swap valuation, forward swaps, and swap spreads.
  • Discusses risk management and swap bid-offer spreads.

Chapter 17: Treasury Futures Contracts

  • Defines forward and futures contracts and their design.
  • Discusses delivery options, conversion factors, and hedging applications.

Chapter 18: Credit Default Swaps: Single-Name, Portfolio, and Indexes

  • Reviews credit default swaps, their players, and market growth.
  • Discusses valuation of CDS, credit-linked notes, and credit default indexes.

Chapter 19: Structured Credit Products: Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)

  • Describes CDO structures, players, and types.
  • Analyzes the CDO market growth and valuation.
  • Explains credit default indexes and CDX tranches.

This detailed overview highlights the comprehensive coverage of fixed income markets and derivatives, making this textbook a valuable resource for both theoretical understanding and practical application.

Key Concepts

Part 1: Institutions and Conventions

Debt Securities

  • Definition: Debt instruments issued by entities (governments, corporations) to raise funds, involving a promise to pay periodic interest and principal at maturity.
  • Characteristics: Coupon rate, maturity date, issued amount, issuer, market price, yield, and credit rating.
  • Risks: Interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, inflation risk, event risk, and FX risk.

Market Participants

  • Issuers: Governments, corporations, financial institutions, and SPVs.
  • Investors: Pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, asset management firms, and households.
  • Intermediaries: Investment banks, commercial banks, dealers, and interdealer brokers.
  • Objectives: Issuers aim to secure funds at favorable rates; investors seek fair prices and diversification; intermediaries provide market-making services and manage risks.

Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy

  • Role: Central bank actions significantly impact fixed income markets through open market operations, setting discount rates, and reserve requirements.
  • Tools: Open market operations, discount window lending, and reserve requirements.
  • Impact: Influences interest rates, liquidity, and overall economic stability.

Market Structure

  • Primary Markets: Issuance of new debt securities.
  • Secondary Markets: Trading of existing securities, crucial for liquidity and price discovery.
  • Transparency: Critical for market efficiency, involving clear and accessible trading information.

Repo Agreements

  • Definition: Short-term borrowing arrangements where securities are sold with an agreement to repurchase.
  • Types: General collateral (GC) repos and special collateral repos.
  • Uses: Managing liquidity, financing positions, and leveraging trades.

Part 2: Analytics of Fixed Income Markets

Bond Mathematics

  • DV01/PVBP: Measures the change in bond price for a 1 basis point change in yield.
  • Duration: Sensitivity of bond price to interest rate changes, calculated as the weighted average time to receive cash flows.
  • Convexity: Measures the curvature in the price-yield relationship, indicating how duration changes with interest rates.

Yield Curve and Term Structure

  • Yield Curve: Graphical representation of yields across different maturities.
  • Term Structure Models: Models like Vasicek and Cox-Ingersoll-Ross for understanding interest rate movements.
  • Bootstrapping: Technique to construct zero-coupon yield curves from coupon-bearing bonds.

Credit Risk Modeling

  • Structural Models: Assess default risk based on the firm’s asset value and debt structure (e.g., Merton model).
  • Reduced-Form Models: Use historical data to estimate default probabilities without detailed firm-level data.
  • Credit Spreads: Difference between yields on corporate bonds and risk-free Treasuries, indicating default risk.

Part 3: Some Fixed Income Market Segments

Mortgages and Agency Debt

  • Mortgage Types: Fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).
  • Federal Agencies: Entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that support housing finance.
  • Agency Debt: Bonds issued by federal agencies, often with implicit government backing.

Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS)

  • Securitization: Pooling mortgages to issue securities backed by the mortgage cash flows.
  • Prepayment Risk: Risk that borrowers repay mortgages early, affecting MBS cash flows.
  • Valuation: Models to price MBS considering factors like prepayment rates and interest rates.

Inflation-Linked Debt

  • TIPS: Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities that provide protection against inflation.
  • Design: Adjust principal and interest payments based on inflation index.
  • Break-Even Inflation: Difference between nominal and real yields, indicating market inflation expectations.

Part 4: Fixed Income Derivatives

Overnight Interest Rate Derivatives

  • Fed Funds Futures: Contracts to hedge or speculate on Federal Reserve interest rate changes.
  • Overnight Index Swaps (OIS): Swaps based on overnight rates, used to manage interest rate risk.

Eurodollar Futures

  • LIBOR: Benchmark rate for interbank lending, crucial for Eurodollar futures.
  • Eurodollar Futures: Contracts settled based on future LIBOR rates, used for hedging and speculation.

Interest Rate Swaps

  • Definition: Agreements to exchange cash flows based on different interest rates.
  • Valuation: Present value of expected cash flows, adjusted for risk.
  • Uses: Managing interest rate exposure, creating synthetic fixed or floating rate debt.

Credit Default Swaps (CDS)

  • Single-Name CDS: Insurance against default of a specific entity.
  • CDS Indexes: Baskets of CDS contracts, providing broader exposure to credit risk.
  • Valuation: Based on default probabilities and recovery rates.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)

  • Structure: Securitization of pooled debt obligations, divided into tranches with varying risk levels.
  • Valuation: Assessing cash flows, default correlations, and tranche subordination.

These key concepts form the foundation of understanding fixed income markets and their derivatives, emphasizing the interplay between theoretical models and practical applications.

Critical Analysis


Comprehensive Coverage:

  • The book provides an extensive examination of fixed income markets, from basic debt securities to advanced derivatives. This makes it a valuable resource for a wide audience, including students, academics, and practitioners.

Balanced Theoretical and Practical Approach:

  • Sundaresan effectively balances theoretical concepts with practical applications. Real-world examples, case studies, and historical data help illustrate complex concepts, making them more accessible and relevant to real-world scenarios.

Clear Structure and Organization:

  • The book is well-organized into four main parts, each focusing on different aspects of fixed income markets. This logical progression helps readers build their knowledge systematically, from fundamental concepts to more advanced topics.

Incorporation of Recent Developments:

  • The inclusion of discussions on the 2007-2008 financial crisis and its impact on fixed income markets provides valuable insights into market dynamics and the evolution of financial instruments and strategies.

Educational Tools:

  • The book includes numerous worked-out examples, Excel applications, and a detailed financial glossary. These tools enhance understanding and provide practical skills that are beneficial for both students and professionals.

Real-World Context:

  • Examples are set in real-life contexts with actual market prices and historical data, which helps in understanding the application of theoretical models in practice.


Complexity and Depth:

  • The book’s depth can be overwhelming for beginners or those without a strong background in finance or mathematics. Some sections may be too advanced for undergraduate students or newcomers to the field.

Limited Focus on Emerging Markets:

  • While the book provides a detailed analysis of established markets, particularly the U.S. market, it offers limited coverage of emerging markets. A broader global perspective would enhance the book’s comprehensiveness.

Potential Over-Reliance on Models:

  • The emphasis on various models for pricing and risk management, while useful, can sometimes oversimplify real-world complexities. There’s a risk that readers might over-rely on these models without fully understanding their limitations.

Need for Regular Updates:

  • The rapidly changing nature of financial markets necessitates frequent updates to keep the material current. Topics like blockchain, fintech innovations, and ESG factors are increasingly relevant and could be included in future editions.


“Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives” by Suresh Sundaresan stands out as an authoritative and comprehensive resource in the field of fixed income markets. The book’s detailed coverage, balanced approach, and practical examples make it a valuable textbook for students and a reliable reference for professionals. The clear structure and inclusion of recent market developments add significant value, providing readers with both foundational knowledge and contemporary insights.

However, the book’s complexity may pose challenges for beginners, and its limited focus on emerging markets could be seen as a gap in its otherwise broad coverage. Additionally, the fast-paced evolution of financial markets underscores the need for regular updates to maintain the book’s relevance.

In conclusion, Sundaresan’s work is a significant contribution to the literature on fixed income markets. By addressing the identified weaknesses and incorporating emerging trends and technologies, future editions can continue to serve as a premier resource for understanding and navigating the complexities of fixed income markets and their derivatives.

Real-World Applications and Examples

Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives by Suresh Sundaresan provides a thorough examination of fixed income securities, market participants, central bank roles, and financial derivatives. Here are some real-world applications and examples drawn from the book’s comprehensive content:

Debt Securities and Market Dynamics

Treasury Bonds and Corporate Bonds:

  • Example: U.S. Treasury bonds are often considered a benchmark for risk-free investments. During periods of economic uncertainty, investors tend to buy Treasuries, causing their yields to drop. In contrast, corporate bonds from companies like Apple or Microsoft often offer higher yields due to additional credit risk, providing investors with potentially higher returns in exchange for taking on more risk.

Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS):

  • Application: Banks and financial institutions bundle mortgages into securities and sell them to investors. This process, known as securitization, provides liquidity to the housing market and allows banks to manage their risk. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are key players in the MBS market, ensuring a steady flow of capital into the housing sector.

Inflation-Linked Bonds (TIPS):

  • Example: Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are used by investors to hedge against inflation. During periods of rising inflation expectations, the demand for TIPS increases. These securities adjust their principal based on inflation rates, providing a safeguard for investors’ purchasing power.

Market Participants and Their Roles

Central Banks:

  • Application: The Federal Reserve uses various tools to influence interest rates and stabilize the economy. For instance, during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the Fed’s open market operations and quantitative easing programs were critical in providing liquidity and lowering interest rates to support economic recovery.

Institutional Investors:

  • Example: Pension funds, such as CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), invest heavily in fixed income securities to match their long-term liabilities. They use a mix of government bonds, corporate bonds, and mortgage-backed securities to diversify their portfolios and manage risk.

Financial Derivatives and Risk Management

Interest Rate Swaps:

  • Application: Companies use interest rate swaps to manage the cost of their debt. For instance, a company with floating-rate debt might enter into a swap agreement to exchange its floating payments for fixed payments, thus stabilizing its interest expenses. This is particularly useful for firms seeking to hedge against rising interest rates.

Credit Default Swaps (CDS):

  • Example: Financial institutions use CDS to hedge against the risk of default on corporate bonds. During the financial crisis, the widening of CDS spreads on major financial institutions indicated increased concerns about their creditworthiness. Investors and speculators alike use CDS to manage and take positions on credit risk.

Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs):

  • Application: CDOs pool various debt instruments, including corporate bonds and mortgage-backed securities, to diversify credit risk. Before the 2008 financial crisis, many investors used CDOs to gain exposure to diversified credit risk. However, the collapse of the CDO market highlighted the importance of understanding the underlying assets and the risks involved.

Analytical Tools and Models

Bond Mathematics:

  • Example: Portfolio managers at investment firms like BlackRock use duration and convexity to manage interest rate risk in bond portfolios. They adjust the portfolio’s duration to align with their interest rate outlook, using convexity to understand the sensitivity to interest rate changes and potential price movements.

Yield Curve Analysis:

  • Application: The yield curve serves as a critical economic indicator. An inverted yield curve, where short-term rates exceed long-term rates, often precedes a recession. Financial institutions and policymakers closely monitor yield curve movements to gauge economic health and make informed investment or policy decisions.

Impact of Economic Events

Financial Crisis of 2007-2008:

  • Example: The book discusses how the financial crisis affected fixed income markets, particularly through the collapse of mortgage-backed securities and the subsequent impact on global financial stability. The crisis underscored the interconnectedness of financial markets and the importance of robust risk management practices.

Monetary Policy Interventions:

  • Application: Central banks’ interventions, such as the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs, have significant impacts on fixed income markets. These measures involve large-scale purchases of government securities to lower interest rates and increase money supply, aimed at stimulating economic activity.

Technological and Regulatory Developments

Electronic Trading Platforms:

  • Example: Platforms like Tradeweb and MarketAxess facilitate the electronic trading of fixed income securities, enhancing market transparency and liquidity. These platforms allow for more efficient price discovery and execution of trades, benefiting both institutional and individual investors.

Regulatory Changes:

  • Application: Post-crisis regulatory reforms, such as the Dodd-Frank Act, have introduced significant changes to the fixed income markets, including increased transparency and stricter oversight of derivatives trading. These regulations aim to reduce systemic risk and protect market participants.


The real-world applications and examples in “Fixed Income Markets and Their Derivatives” by Suresh Sundaresan highlight the practical relevance of the book’s concepts and models. By illustrating how these theories apply in actual financial markets, Sundaresan bridges the gap between academic knowledge and professional practice. The book serves as an essential resource for understanding and navigating the complexities of fixed income markets and their derivatives, making it invaluable for both learning and reference in the field of finance.

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