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The Economics of Credit Default Swaps

Author

Listed:
  • Robert A. Jarrow

    () (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 and Kamakura Corporation, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815)

Abstract

Credit default swaps (CDSs) are term insurance contracts written on traded bonds. This review studies the economics of CDSs using the economics of insurance literature as a basis for analysis. It is alleged that trading in CDSs caused the 2007 credit crisis, and therefore trading CDSs is an evil that needs to be eliminated or controlled. In contrast, I argue that the trading of CDSs is welfare increasing because it facilitates a more optimal allocation of risks in the economy. To perform this function, however, the risk of the CDS seller's failure needs to be minimized. In this regard, government regulation imposing stricter collateral requirements and higher equity capital for CDS traders needs to be introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Jarrow, 2011. "The Economics of Credit Default Swaps," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 235-257, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:refeco:v:3:y:2011:p:235-257
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    File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-financial-102710-144918
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jie Chen & Woon Sau Leung & Wei Song & Davide Avino, 2018. "Does CDS trading affect risk-taking incentives in managerial compensation?," Working Papers 2018-19, Swansea University, School of Management.
    2. Marcel Ausloos & Rosella Castellano & Roy Cerqueti, 2016. "Regularities and Discrepancies of Credit Default Swaps: a Data Science approach through Benford's Law," Papers 1603.01103, arXiv.org.
    3. Arakelyan, Armen & Rubio, Gonzalo & Serrano, Pedro, 2015. "The reward for trading illiquid maturities in credit default swap markets," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 376-389.
    4. Hertrich, Markus, 2015. "Does Credit Risk Impact Liquidity Risk? Evidence from Credit Default Swap Markets," MPRA Paper 67837, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Augustin, Patrick & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit Default Swaps: A Survey," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 1-196, December.
    6. Bolton, Patrick & Oehmke, Martin, 2013. "Strategic conduct in credit derivative markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 652-658.
    7. Dionne, Georges & Gauthier, Geneviève & Hammami, Khemais & Maurice, Mathieu & Simonato, Jean-Guy, 2011. "A reduced form model of default spreads with Markov-switching macroeconomic factors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1984-2000, August.
    8. Shalendra D. Sharma, 2013. "Credit Default Swaps: Risk Hedge or Financial Weapon of Mass Destruction?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 303-311, October.
    9. Marc Chesney & Delia Coculescu & Selim Gökay, 2016. "Endogenous trading in credit default swaps," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, April.
    10. Christina E. Bannier & Thomas Heidorn & Heinz-Dieter Vogel, 2014. "Characteristics and development of corporate and sovereign CDS," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 15(5), pages 482-509, November.
    11. Oehmke, Martin & Zawadowski, Adam, 2015. "Synthetic or real? The equilibrium effects of credit default swaps on bond markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84511, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Carruthers, Bruce G., 2013. "Diverging derivatives: Law, governance and modern financial markets," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 386-400.
    13. Paul Mizen & Veronica Veleanu, 2015. "On the Information Flow from Credit Derivatives to the Macroeconomy," Discussion Papers 2015/21, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CDS; collateral; defaults; bonds; insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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