Show that for $B = (B_t)$ Brownian motion, its covariance is $cov(B_s, B_t) = min(s, t)$.
The solution I was given was:
For $s ≤ t$, $B_t = B_s + (B_t − B_s)$,
$B_sB_t = B_s^2 + Bs(Bt − Bs)$
as all increments of Brown motion are independent the second term in the RHS
$=E[B_s]E[B_t-B_s]=0*0=0$. Now $cov(B_s,B_t)=E(B_s^2)=Var(B_s)=s$.
Similarly if $t\leq s$ we get $=t$.
My question is, could I not have done this arguement the same way without assuming that $s\leq t$ in the first place? I mean, if $s\leq t$ why cant I say $B_s = B_t + (B_s − B_t)$ and conitnue like this to get the answer with a max instead of a min?
Is it because $B_t-B_s$ is only an increment if $t\geq s$? I mean otherwise we dont have independency or something?