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Clearing, Counterparty Risk, and Aggregate Risk

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  • Bruno Biais
  • Florian Heider
  • Marie Hoerova

Abstract

The paper studies the optimal design of clearing systems. The paper analyzes how counterparty risk should be allocated, whether traders should be fully insured against that risk, and how moral hazard affects the optimal allocation of risk. The main advantage of centralized clearing, as opposed to no or decentralized clearing, is the mutualization of risk. While mutualization fully insures idiosyncratic risk, it cannot provide insurance against aggregate risk. When the latter is significant, it is efficient that protection buyers exert effort to find robust counterparties, whose low default risk makes it possible for the clearing system to withstand aggregate shocks. When this effort is unobservable, incentive compatibility requires that protection buyers retain some exposure to counterparty risk even with centralized clearing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal IMF Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 193-222

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Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:60:y:2012:i:2:p:193-222

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References

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  1. James R. Thompson, 2010. "Counterparty Risk in Financial Contracts: Should the Insured Worry about the Insurer?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1195-1252, August.
  2. Thorsten Koeppl & Cyril Monnet, 2006. "Central Counterparties," 2006 Meeting Papers 513, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Thorsten Koeppl & Cyril Monnet & Ted Temzelides, 2009. "Optimal Clearing Arrangements for Financial Trades," Working Papers 1222, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Viral V. Acharya & Alberto Bisin, 2011. "Counterparty Risk Externality: Centralized Versus Over-the-counter Markets," NBER Working Papers 17000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2000. "Mechanism Design with Collusion and Correlation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 309-342, March.
  6. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James, 2011. "CDS as Insurance: Leaky Lifeboats in Stormy Seas," Working Papers 2011-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Albert J. Menkveld & Emiliano Pagnotta & Marius A. Zoican, 2013. "Central Clearing and Asset Prices," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-181/IV/DSF67, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Bolton, Patrick & Oehmke, Martin, 2013. "Strategic conduct in credit derivative markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 652-658.
  3. Thorsten V. Koeppl, 2013. "The Limits of Central Counterparty Clearing: Collusive Moral Hazard and Market Liquidity," Working Papers 1312, Queen's University, Department of Economics.

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