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Liquidity and Arbitrage in the Market for Credit Risk

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  • Nashikkar, Amrut
  • Subrahmanyam, Marti G.
  • Mahanti, Sriketan

Abstract

The recent credit crisis has highlighted the importance of market liquidity and its interaction with the price of credit risk. We investigate this interaction by relating the liquidity of corporate bonds to the basis between the credit default swap (CDS) spread of the issuer and the par-equivalent bond yield spread. The liquidity of a bond is measured using a recently developed measure called latent liquidity , which is defined as the weighted average turnover of funds holding the bond, where the weights are their fractional holdings of the bond. We find that bonds with higher latent liquidity are more expensive relative to their CDS contracts after controlling for other realized measures of liquidity. Analysis of interaction effects shows that highly illiquid bonds of firms with a greater degree of uncertainty are also expensive, consistent with limits to arbitrage between CDS and bond markets, due to the higher costs of “shorting” illiquid bonds. Additionally, we document the positive effects of liquidity in the CDS market on the CDS-bond basis. We also find that several firm- and bond-level variables related to credit risk affect the basis, indicating that the CDS spread does not fully capture the credit risk of the bond.

Suggested Citation

  • Nashikkar, Amrut & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Mahanti, Sriketan, 2011. "Liquidity and Arbitrage in the Market for Credit Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 627-656, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:46:y:2011:i:03:p:627-656_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Loon, Yee Cheng & Zhong, Zhaodong (Ken), 2016. "Does Dodd-Frank affect OTC transaction costs and liquidity? Evidence from real-time CDS trade reports," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 645-672.
    2. Loon, Yee Cheng & Zhong, Zhaodong Ken, 2014. "The impact of central clearing on counterparty risk, liquidity, and trading: Evidence from the credit default swap market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 91-115.
    3. : 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.
    4. Kim, Gi H. & Li, Haitao & Zhang, Weina, 2016. "CDS-bond basis and bond return predictability," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 307-337.
    5. A. Mantovi & G. Tagliavini, 2017. "Liquidity cognition and limits of arbitrage," Economics Department Working Papers 2017-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    6. Kara, Alper & Marques-Ibanez, David & Ongena, Steven, 2015. "Securitization and Credit Quality," International Finance Discussion Papers 1148, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Feldhütter, Peter & Hotchkiss, Edith & Karakaş, Oğuzhan, 2016. "The value of creditor control in corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-27.
    8. Gong Feixue & Gregory Phelan, 2017. "Debt Collateralization, Structured Finance, and the CDS Basis," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    9. Pelizzon, Loriana & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tomio, Davide & Uno, Jun, 2016. "Sovereign credit risk, liquidity, and European Central Bank intervention: Deus ex machina?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 86-115.
    10. 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.
    11. Yalin Gündüz & Marliese Uhrig-Homburg, 2014. "Does modeling framework matter? A comparative study of structural and reduced-form models," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, pages 39-78.
    12. Beck, Thorsten & Chen, Tao & Lin, Chen & Song, Frank M., 2016. "Financial innovation: The bright and the dark sides," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 28-51.
    13. 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.
    14. Jacob Gyntelberg & Peter Hördahl & Kristyna Ters & Jörg Urban, 2017. "Arbitrage costs and the persistent non-zero CDS-bond basis: Evidence from intraday euro area sovereign debt markets," BIS Working Papers 631, Bank for International Settlements.
    15. Friewald, Nils & Jankowitsch, Rainer & Subrahmanyam, Marti G., 2012. "Illiquidity or credit deterioration: A study of liquidity in the US corporate bond market during financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 18-36.
    16. Song Han & Hao Zhou, 2016. "Effects of Liquidity on the Non-Default Component of Corporate Yield Spreads: Evidence from Intraday Transactions Data," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(03), pages 1-49, September.
    17. Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit default swaps and corporate cash holdings," CFS Working Paper Series 462, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    18. Ebrahim, M. Shahid & Jaafar, Aziz & Omar, Fatma A. & Salleh, Murizah Osman, 2016. "Can Islamic injunctions indemnify the structural flaws of securitized debt?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 271-286.
    19. Shafik Hebous & Tom Zimmermann, 2014. "Revisiting the Narrative Approach of Estimating Tax Multipliers," CESifo Working Paper Series 5040, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Rubia, Antonio & Sanchis-Marco, Lidia & Serrano, Pedro, 2016. "Market frictions and the pricing of sovereign credit default swaps," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 223-252.
    21. Alan V. S. Douglas & Alan G. Huang & Kenneth R. Vetzal, 2016. "Cash flow volatility and corporate bond yield spreads," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 417-458, February.

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