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Financial Connections and Systemic Risk

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  • Franklin Allen
  • Ana Babus
  • Elena Carletti

Abstract

An important source of systemic risk is overlapping portfolio exposures among financial institutions. We develop a model where institutions form connections through swaps of projects in order to diversify their individual risk. These connections lead to two different network structures. In a clustered network groups of financial institutions within a cluster hold identical portfolios. Defaults occur together but the number of states where this happens is small. In an unclustered network defaults are more dispersed but they occur in more states. With long term finance there is no difference between the two structures in terms of total defaults and welfare. In contrast, when short term finance is used, the network structure matters. Upon the arrival of a signal about banks' future defaults, investors update their expectations of the ability of financial institutions to repay them. If their updated expectations are low, they do not to roll over the debt and there is systemic risk in that all institutions are early liquidated. We compare the clustered and unclustered networks and analyze which is better in welfare terms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2010/26.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2010/26

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  1. Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno M & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations, and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 611-38, August.
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  3. Franklin Allen & Ana Babus & Elena Carletti, 2009. "Financial Crises: Theory and Evidence," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 97-116, November.
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  7. Richard J. Herring & Susan Wachter, 1999. "Real Estate Booms and Banking Busts: An International Perspective," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-27, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  9. Flannery, Mark J, 1986. " Asymmetric Information and Risky Debt Maturity Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 19-37, March.
  10. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
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