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.:
- Xavier Freixas & Bruno M. Parigi & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000.
"Systemic risk, interbank relations, and liquidity provision by the central bank,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 611-640.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bryan R. Routledge, Stanley E. Zin, 2000.
"Model Uncertainity And Liquidity,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 2000
368, Society for Computational Economics.
- 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, 2000. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1617, Econometric Society.
- Bryan R. Routledge & Stanley E. Zin, 2001. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 8683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lasse H. Pedersen & Markus Brunnermeier, 2004.
Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings
425, Econometric Society.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004. "Predatory Trading," 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.
- Roger D. Lagunoff & Stacey L. Schreft, 1998.
"A model of financial fragility,"
Research Working Paper
98-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 1996.
"Interbank lending and systemic risk,"
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 733-765.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000.
"Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Yaron Leitner, 2005. "Financial Networks: Contagion, Commitment, and Private Sector Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2953, December.
- 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.
- Larry Eisenberg & Thomas H. Noe, 2001. "Systemic Risk in Financial Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(2), pages 236-249, February.
- 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.
- Pol, Eduardo, 2012. "The preponderant causes of the USA banking crisis 2007–08," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 519-528.
- 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.
- di Iasio, Giovanni & Battiston, Stefano & Infante, Luigi & Pierobon, Federico, 2013. "Capital and Contagion in Financial Networks," MPRA Paper 52141, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- 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.
- di Iasio, Giovanni & Quagliariello, Mario, 2011. "Incentives through the cycle: microfounded macroprudential regulation," MPRA Paper 28179, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Awrey, Dan, 2013. "Toward a supply-side theory of financial innovation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 401-419.
- Mei Li & Frank Milne & Junfeng Qiu, 2013. "Uncertainty in an Interconnected Financial System, Contagion," Working Papers 1304, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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.