Credit Default Swaps and the Credit Crisis
AbstractMany observers have argued that credit default swaps contributed significantly to the credit crisis. Of particular concern to these observers are that credit default swaps trade in the largely unregulated over-the-counter market as bilateral contracts involving counterparty risk and that they facilitate speculation involving negative views of a firm’s financial strength. Some observers have suggested that credit default swaps would not have made the crisis worse had they been traded on exchanges. I conclude that credit default swaps did not cause the dramatic events of the credit crisis, that the over-the-counter credit default swaps market worked well during much of the first year of the credit crisis, and that exchange trading has both advantages and costs compared to over-the-counter trading. Though I argue that eliminating over-the-counter trading of credit default swaps could reduce social welfare, I also recognize that much research is needed to understand better and quantify the social gains and costs of derivatives in general and credit default swaps in particular.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15384.
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Rene M. Stulz, 2010. "Credit Default Swaps and the Credit Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 73-92, Winter.
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Other versions of this item:
- G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
- G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
- G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CFN-2009-09-26 (Corporate Finance)
- NEP-FMK-2009-09-26 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-RMG-2009-09-26 (Risk Management)
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