Merton Model

DEFINITION of 'Merton Model'

A model, named after the financial scholar Robert C. Merton, that was developed in the 1970s and is used today to evaluate the credit risk of a corporation's debt. Brokerage firm analysts and some investors employ the model in order to determine a company's ability to service its debt, meet its financial obligations and to gauge the overall possibility of credit default.

Also referred to as "Asset Value Model."

BREAKING DOWN 'Merton Model'

Fischer Black and Myron Scholes utilized Merton's work to build out what has since become known as the Black-Scholes pricing model.

Securities analysts and loan officers attempting to determine a company's credit fault risk will utilize the Merton Model as a means of analysis. The model allows the analysts to better value the company, as well as determine its ability to remain solvent through the analysis of reported debt amounts and maturity dates.

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