The Yield Curve and Financial Risk Premia pp 43-82 | Cite as

# The Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates

## Abstract

It is of essential interest to define a common financial arithmetic as to how to calculate the price of an asset.Asset prices are typically calculated according to the *net present value approach*with market prices being valued by the expected discounted payoffs generated by the assets. Zero-coupon bonds should be used as a starting point. This Section only applies bond prices and yields on *default-risk-free*zero-coupon bonds. A zero-coupon bond is a bond that has a single fixed payment (“principal” and usual fixed to 1) at a given date (“maturity”). It guarantees the holder of the discount bond to get the principal at the maturity date. There are no intervening coupon payments and consequently, the bond sells less than the principal before the maturity date *n*. It holds that *n*: = *T* − *t*with *T*representing the maturity date.