Fire Sales in a Model of Complexity
AbstractFinancial assets provide return and liquidity services to their holders. However, during severe financial crises many asset prices plummet, destroying their liquidity provision function at the worst possible time. In this paper we present a model of fire sales and market breakdowns, and of the financial amplification mechanism that follows from them. The distinctive feature of our model is the central role played by endogenous complexity: As asset prices implode, more “banks” within the financial network become distressed, which increases each (non-distressed) bank’s likelihood of being hit by an indirect shock. As this happens, banks face an increasingly complex environment since they need to understand more and more interlinkages in making their financial decisions. This complexity brings about confusion and uncertainty, which makes relatively healthy banks, and hence potential asset buyers, reluctant to buy since they now fear becoming embroiled in a cascade they do not control or understand. The liquidity of the market quickly vanishes and a financial crisis ensues. The model exhibits a powerful “complexity-externality.” As a potential asset buyer chooses to pull back, the size of the cascade grows, which increases the degree of complexity of the environment. This rise in perceived complexity induces other healthy banks to pull back, which exacerbates the fire sale and the cascade.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15479.
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Note: AP CF EFG IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
- E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
- G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Xavier Freixas & Bruno M. Parigi & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000. "Systemic risk, interbank relations, and liquidity provision by the central bank," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 611-640.
- X. Freixas & B. Parigi & J-C. Rochet, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by theCentral Bank," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 47, Netherlands Central Bank.
- Xavier Freixas & Bruno Parigi & Jean Charles Rochet, 1998. "Systemic risk, interbank relations and liquidity provision by the Central Bank," Economics Working Papers 440, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 1999.
- Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno & Rochet, Jean Charles, 1999. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," CEPR Discussion Papers 2325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, .
"Model Uncertainty and Liquidity,"
GSIA Working Papers
2001-E17, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Bryan R. Routledge & Stanley E. Zin, 2001. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 8683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bryan R. Routledge, Stanley E. Zin, 2000. "Model Uncertainity And Liquidity," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 368, Society for Computational Economics.
- Bryan R. Routledge & Stanley E. Zin, 2000. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1617, Econometric Society.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000.
"Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Larry Eisenberg & Thomas H. Noe, 2001. "Systemic Risk in Financial Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(2), pages 236-249, February.
- Roger Lagunoff & Stacey L. Schreft, 1998.
"A Model of Financial Fragility,"
Game Theory and Information
9803001, EconWPA, revised 30 Apr 1998.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004.
CEPR Discussion Papers
4639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2004. "Predatory Trading," NBER Working Papers 10755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Markus K Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pederson, 2003. "Predatory Trading," FMG Discussion Papers dp441, Financial Markets Group.
- Lasse H. Pedersen & Markus Brunnermeier, 2004. "Predatory Trading," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 425, Econometric Society.
- Yaron Leitner, 2005. "Financial Networks: Contagion, Commitment, and Private Sector Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2953, December.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
- Rodrigo Cifuentes & Hyun Song Shin & Gianluigi Ferrucci, 2005. "Liquidity Risk and Contagion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 556-566, 04/05.
- Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996.
"Interbank lending and systemic risk,"
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008.
"Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2195-2230, October.
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2007. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," NBER Working Papers 12896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kamin, Steven B. & DeMarco, Laurie Pounder, 2012. "How did a domestic housing slump turn into a global financial crisis?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 10-41.
- di Iasio, Giovanni & Quagliariello, Mario, 2011.
"Incentives through the cycle: microfounded macroprudential regulation,"
30769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- di Iasio, Giovanni & Quagliariello, Mario, 2011. "Incentives through the cycle: microfounded macroprudential regulation," MPRA Paper 28179, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Giovanni di Iasio & Mario Quagliariello, 2013. "Incentives through the cycle: microfounded macroprudential regulation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 894, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Mei Li & Frank Milne & Junfeng Qiu, 2013. "Uncertainty in an Interconnected Financial System, Contagion, and Market Freezes," Working Papers 1308, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Pol, Eduardo, 2012. "The preponderant causes of the USA banking crisis 2007–08," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 519-528.
- Martín Guzman & Pablo Gluzmann, 2012. "Tensions in the Implementation of Central Banks’ Policies in the Pursuit of Economic Development," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(65-66), pages 173-205, September.
- Mei Li & Frank Milne & Junfeng Qiu, . "Uncertainty in an Interconnected Financial System, Contagion," Working Papers 1304, University of Guelph, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.