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The Persistent Negative Cds-Bond Basis during the 2007/08 Financial Crisis

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  • Alessandro Fontana

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice CĂ  Foscari)

Abstract

I study the behaviour of the CDS-bond basis - the difference between the CDS and the bond spread - for a sample of investment-graded US firms. I document that, since the onset of the 2007/08 financial crisis it has become persistently negative, and I investigate the role played by the cost of trading the basis and its underlying risks. To exploit the negative basis an arbitrageur must finance the purchase of the underlying bond and buy protection. The idea is that, during the crisis, because of the funding liquidity shortage and the increased risk in the financial sector, which exposes protection buyers to counter-party risk, the negative basis trade is risky. In fact, I find that basis dynamics is driven by economic variables that are proxies for funding liquidity (cost of capital and hair cuts), credit markets liquidity and risk in the inter-bank lending market such as the Libor-OIS spread, the VIX, bid-asks spreads and the OIS-T-Bill spread. Results support the evidence that during stress times asset prices depart form frictionless ideals due to funding liquidity risk faced by financial intermediaries and investors; hence, deviations from parity do not imply presence of arbitrage opportunities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2010_13.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2010_13

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Keywords: CDS; bond spread; funding rate; liquidity risk; counterparty risk; financial crisis.;

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References

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  1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  2. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
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  4. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamic Relation between Investment-Grade Bonds and Credit Default Swaps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2255-2281, October.
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  6. Gonzalo, Jesus & Granger, Clive W J, 1995. "Estimation of Common Long-Memory Components in Cointegrated Systems," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 27-35, January.
  7. Houweling, P. & Vorst, A.C.F., 2003. "Pricing default swaps: empirical evidence," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-51, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. : Haitao Li & Gi H. Kim & Weina Zhang, 2010. "The CDS-Bond Basis and the Cross Section of Corporate Bond Returns," Working Papers wpn10-03, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  2. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Brancati, Emanuele & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2013. "Financial Markets, Banks' Cost of Funding, and Firms' Decisions: Lessons from Two Crises," IZA Discussion Papers 7872, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alessandro Carboni, 2011. "The sovereign credit default swap market: price discovery, volumes and links with banks' risk premia," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 821, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. : Haitao Li & Weina Zhang & Gi H. Kim, 2011. "The CDS-Bond Basis Arbitrage and the Cross Section of Corporate Bond Returns," Working Papers wpn11-04, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  5. Gianfranco Gianfelice & Giuseppe Marotta & Costanza Torricelli, 2013. "A liquidity risk index as a regulatory tool for systemically important banks? An empirical assessment across two financial crises," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13071, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, FacoltĂ  di Economia "Marco Biagi".

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