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We examine multi-name credit models from the perspective of point processes. In this context, it is natural to pursue a top down approach: the economy as a whole is modeled first. The technique of random thinning consistently generates sub-models for individual firms or portfolios. A candidate for the top down approach is a self-exciting process, whose intensity at any time depends on the sequence of events observed up to that time. A self-exciting process incorporates the contagion observed indoi:10.2139/ssrn.1142152 fatcat:qx6bcq5pireqtckukxyfwv3cnu