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

Listed author(s):
  • Bryan Kelly
  • Hanno Lustig
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

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.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 106 (2016)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1278-1319

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:6:p:1278-1319
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120389
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  1. Torben G. Andersen & Nicola Fusari & Viktor Todorov, 2015. "Parametric Inference and Dynamic State Recovery From Option Panels," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(3), pages 1081-1145, May.
  2. David Backus & Mikhail Chernov & Ian Martin, 2011. "Disasters Implied by Equity Index Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1969-2012, December.
  3. Nicolae Gârleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2011. "Margin-based Asset Pricing and Deviations from the Law of One Price," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1980-2022.
  4. Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein & Fan Yang, 2012. "On the Relative Pricing of Long-Maturity Index Options and Collateralized Debt Obligations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(6), pages 1983-2014, December.
  5. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 16358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
  7. Panageas, Stavros, 2010. "Bailouts, the incentive to manage risk, and financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 296-311, March.
  8. Joost Driessen & Pascal J. Maenhout & Grigory Vilkov, 2009. "The Price of Correlation Risk: Evidence from Equity Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1377-1406, June.
  9. Mark Broadie & Mikhail Chernov & Michael Johannes, 2007. "Model Specification and Risk Premia: Evidence from Futures Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1453-1490, June.
  10. Merton, Robert C., 1976. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 125-144.
  11. O'Hara, Maureen & Shaw, Wayne, 1990. " Deposit Insurance and Wealth Effects: The Value of Being "Too Big to Fail."," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1587-1600, December.
  12. Darrell Duffie, 2010. "Presidential Address: Asset Price Dynamics with Slow-Moving Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(4), pages 1237-1267, August.
  13. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-438, July.
  14. Merton, Robert C., 1977. "An analytic derivation of the cost of deposit insurance and loan guarantees An application of modern option pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-11, June.
  15. Lucas, Deborah & McDonald, Robert L., 2006. "An options-based approach to evaluating the risk of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 155-176, January.
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