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Too-Systemic-to-Fail: What Option Markets Imply about Sector-Wide Government Guarantees

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  • Bryan Kelly
  • Hanno Lustig
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

Abstract

We examine the pricing of financial crash insurance during the 2007-2009 financial crisis in US option markets, and we show that a large amount of aggregate tail risk is missing from the cost of financial sector crash insurance during the crisis. The difference in costs between out-of-the-money put options for individual banks and puts on the financial sector index increases four-fold from its precrisis 2003-2007 level. We provide evidence that a collective government guarantee for the financial sector lowers index put prices far more than those of individual banks and explains the increase in the basket-index put spread.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Kelly & Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2016. "Too-Systemic-to-Fail: What Option Markets Imply about Sector-Wide Government Guarantees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1278-1319, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:6:p:1278-1319
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120389
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts

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