Economic Capital Defined Economic capital is the capital required to support all risks carried by a firm at its target level of financial strength. The firm’s desired financial strength–or solvency standard–is expressed as a probability of ruin.

To provide firms with intuition around acceptable probabilities of ruin, we look to corporate bond default rates. The reasons for choosing corporate bond default rates are that there is a long history of default data from the rating agencies and that people have good intuition about how bond ratings relate to financial strength.

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