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Liquidity and financial contagion


  • Adrian, T.
  • Shin, H S.


There is an apparent puzzle at the heart of the 2007 credit crisis. The subprime mortgage sector is small relative to the financial system as a whole and the exposure was widely dispersed through securitization. Yet the crisis in the credit market has been potent. Traditionally, financial contagion has been viewed through the lens of defaults, where if A has borrowed from B and B has borrowed from C, then the default of A impacts B, which then impacts C, etc. However, in a modern market-based financial system, the channel of contagion is through price changes and the measured risks and marked-to-market capital of financial institutions. When balance sheets are marked to market, asset price changes show up immediately on balance sheets and elicit response from financial market participants. Even if exposures are dispersed widely throughout the financial system, the potential impact of a shock can be amplified many-fold through market price changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian, T. & Shin, H S., 2008. "Liquidity and financial contagion," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 11, pages 1-7, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:fisrev:2008:11:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gabriel Jiménez & Jesús Saurina, 2006. "Credit Cycles, Credit Risk, and Prudential Regulation," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(2), May.
    2. Gordy, Michael B. & Howells, Bradley, 2006. "Procyclicality in Basel II: Can we treat the disease without killing the patient?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 395-417, July.
    3. Martin Hellwig, 1995. "Systemic Aspects of Risk Management in Banking and Finance," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 131(IV), pages 723-737, December.
    4. Borio, Claudio & Tsatsaronis, Kostas, 2004. "Accounting and prudential regulation: from uncomfortable bedfellows to perfect partners?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 111-135, September.
    5. Nikola Tarashev & Claudio Borio & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2009. "The systemic importance of financial institutions," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    6. Claudio Borio, 2010. "Ten propositions about liquidity crises," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(1), pages 70-95, March.
    7. Charles Goodhart, 2004. "Per Jacobsson Lecture: Some New Directions for Financial Stability?," FMG Special Papers sp158, Financial Markets Group.
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