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Too Interconnected To Fail: Financial Contagion and Systemic Risk In Network Model of CDS and Other Credit Enhancement Obligations of US Banks

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Author Info

  • Sheri Markose
  • Simone Giansante
  • Mateusz Gatkowski
  • Ali Rais Shaghaghi

Abstract

Credit default swaps (CDS) which constitute up to 98% of credit derivatives have had a unique, endemic and pernicious role to play in the current financial crisis. However, there are few in depth empirical studies of the financial network interconnections among banks and between banks and nonbanks involved as CDS protection buyers and protection sellers. The ongoing problems related to technical insolvency of US commercial banks is not just confined to the so called legacy/toxic RMBS assets on balance sheets but also because of their credit risk exposures from SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) and the CDS markets. The dominance of a few big players in the chains of insurance and reinsurance for CDS credit risk mitigation for banks’ assets has led to the idea of “too interconnected to fail” resulting, as in the case of AIG, of having to maintain the fiction of non-failure in order to avert a credit event that can bring down the CDS pyramid and the financial system. This paper also includes a brief discussion of the complex system Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE) approach to financial network modeling for systemic risk assessment. Quantitative analysis is confined to the empirical reconstruction of the US CDS network based on the FDIC Q4 2008 data in order to conduct a series of stress tests that investigate the consequences of the fact that top 5 US banks account for 92% of the US bank activity in the $34 tn global gross notional value of CDS for Q4 2008 (see, BIS and DTCC). The May-Wigner stability condition for networks is considered for the hub like dominance of a few financial entities in the US CDS structures to understand the lack of robustness. We provide a Systemic Risk Ratio and an implementation of concentration risk in CDS settlement for major US banks in terms of the loss of aggregate core capital. We also compare our stress test results with those provided by SCAP (Supervisory Capital Assessment Program). Finally, in the context of the Basel II credit risk transfer and synthetic securitization framework, there is little evidence that the CDS market predicated on a system of offsets to minimize final settlement can provide the credit risk mitigation sought by banks for reference assets in the case of a significant credit event. The large negative externalities that arise from a lack of robustness of the CDS financial network from the demise of a big CDS seller undermines the justification in Basel II that banks be permitted to reduce capital on assets that have CDS guarantees. We recommend that the Basel II provision for capital reduction on bank assets that have CDS cover should be discontinued.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by COMISEF in its series Working Papers with number 033.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 21 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:com:wpaper:033

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Web page: http://www.comisef.eu

Related research

Keywords: Credit Default Swaps; Financial Networks; Systemic Risk; Agent Based;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Krause, Andreas & Giansante, Simone, 2012. "Interbank lending and the spread of bank failures: A network model of systemic risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 583-608.
  2. Ladley, Daniel, 2013. "Contagion and risk-sharing on the inter-bank market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1384-1400.
  3. Sebastian Heise & Reimer Kuehn, 2012. "Derivatives and Credit Contagion in Interconnected Networks," Papers 1202.3025, arXiv.org.
  4. Thomas Lux, Daniel Fricke, 2012. "Core-Periphery Structure in the Overnight Money Market: Evidence from the e-MID Trading Platform," Kiel Working Papers 1759, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Bhaskar DasGupta & Lakshmi Kaligounder, 2012. "On Global Stability of Financial Networks," Papers 1208.3789, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2014.
  6. Gerald Eisenkopf & Zohal Hessami & Urs Fischbacher & Heinrich Ursprung, 2011. "Academic Performance and Single-Sex Schooling: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-34, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  7. Adrian Alter & Yves Stephan Schüler, 2011. "Credit Spead Interdependencies of European States and Banks during the Financial Crisis," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-24, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  8. Saltoglu, Burak & Yenilmez, Taylan, 2010. "Analyzing Systemic Risk with Financial Networks An Application During a Financial Crash," MPRA Paper 26684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Sheri M. Markose & Bewaji Oluwasegun & Simone Giansante, 2012. "Multi-Agent Financial Network (MAFN) Model of US Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO): Regulatory Capital Arbitrage, Negative CDS Carry Trade and Systemic Risk Analysis," Economics Discussion Papers 714, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. José Pedro Fique, 2011. "Endogenous Response to the ‘Network Tax’," FEP Working Papers 408, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  11. Co-Pierre Georg & Jenny Poschmann, 2010. "Systemic risk in a network model of interbank markets with central bank activity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-033, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  12. Luiz A. Pereira da Silva & Adriana Soares Sales & Wagner Piazza Gaglianone, 2012. "Financial Stability in Brazil," Working Papers Series 289, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  13. Sandoval, Leonidas Junior, 2013. "To lag or not to lag? How to compare indices of stock markets that operate at different times," Insper Working Papers wpe_319, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  14. Kalbaska, A. & Gątkowski, M., 2012. "Eurozone sovereign contagion: Evidence from the CDS market (2005–2010)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 657-673.
  15. Markose, Sheri & Giansante, Simone & Shaghaghi, Ali Rais, 2012. "‘Too interconnected to fail’ financial network of US CDS market: Topological fragility and systemic risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 627-646.
  16. Paolo Giudici & Alessandro Spelta, 2013. "Graphical network models for international financial flows," DEM Working Papers Series 052, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
  17. Ge, Jiaqi, 2013. "Endogenous Rise and Collapse of Housing Prices," Staff General Research Papers 36279, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  18. Sylvain Benoit & Gilbert Colletaz & Christophe Hurlin & Christophe Pérignon, 2013. "A Theoretical and Empirical Comparison of Systemic Risk Measures," Working Papers halshs-00746272, HAL.
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  21. Nicola Borri & Marianna Caccavaio & Giorgio Di Giorgio & Alberto Maria Sorrentino, 2012. "Systemic Risk and the European Banking Sector," Working Papers CASMEF 1211, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  22. Rodrigo César de Castro Miranda & Benjamin Miranda Tabak & Mauricio Medeiros Junior, 2012. "Contagion in CDS, Banking and Equity Markets," Working Papers Series 293, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.

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