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The Economics of Credit Default Swaps

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  • Robert A. Jarrow

    ()
    (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 and Kamakura Corporation, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815)

Abstract

Credit default swaps (CDSs) are term insurance contracts written on traded bonds. This review studies the economics of CDSs using the economics of insurance literature as a basis for analysis. It is alleged that trading in CDSs caused the 2007 credit crisis, and therefore trading CDSs is an evil that needs to be eliminated or controlled. In contrast, I argue that the trading of CDSs is welfare increasing because it facilitates a more optimal allocation of risks in the economy. To perform this function, however, the risk of the CDS seller's failure needs to be minimized. In this regard, government regulation imposing stricter collateral requirements and higher equity capital for CDS traders needs to be introduced.

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File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-financial-102710-144918
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 235-257

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Handle: RePEc:anr:refeco:v:3:y:2011:p:235-257

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Related research

Keywords: CDS; collateral; defaults; bonds; insurance;

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Cited by:
  1. Carruthers, Bruce G., 2013. "Diverging derivatives: Law, governance and modern financial markets," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 386-400.
  2. Dionne, Georges & Gauthier, Geneviève & Hammami, Khemais & Maurice, Mathieu & Simonato, Jean-Guy, 2011. "A reduced form model of default spreads with Markov-switching macroeconomic factors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1984-2000, August.
  3. Bolton, Patrick & Oehmke, Martin, 2013. "Strategic conduct in credit derivative markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 652-658.

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