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The Illusion of Dynamic Replication (with Nassim Taleb)

How well does options pricing theory really work, and how dependent is it on the notion of dynamic replication? In this note we describe what many practitioners know from long and practical experience: (i) dynamic replication doesn’t work as well as students are taught to believe; (ii) most derivatives traders rely on it as little as possible; and (iii) there is a much simpler way to derive many option pricing formulas: many of the results of dynamic option replication can be obtained more simply, by regarding (as many practitioners do) an options valuation model as an interpolating formula for a hybrid security that correctly matches the boundary values of the ingredient securities that constitute the hybrid.


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