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Counterparty Risk in Financial Contracts: Should the Insured Worry About the Insurer?

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  • James R. Thompson

Abstract

We analyze the effect of counterparty risk on financial insurance contracts, using the case of credit risk transfer in banking. This paper posits a new moral hazard problem on the insurer side of the market, which causes the insured party to be exposed to excessive counterparty risk. We find that this counterparty risk can create an incentive for the insured party to reveal superior information about the likelihood of a claim. In particular, a unique separating equilibrium may exist, even in the absence of any costly signaling device.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Thompson, 2010. "Counterparty Risk in Financial Contracts: Should the Insured Worry About the Insurer?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1195-1252.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:3:p:1195-1252.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2010.125.3.1195
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James R., 2014. "CDS as insurance: Leaky lifeboats in stormy seas," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-299.
    2. Samuel Huber & Jaehong Kim, 2015. "The role of trading frictions in financial markets," ECON - Working Papers 211, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2017.
    3. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James, 2012. "Separation Without Mutual Exclusion in Financial Insurance," Working Papers 2012-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    4. Kim, Jinbeom & Leung, Tim, 2016. "Pricing derivatives with counterparty risk and collateralization: A fixed point approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(2), pages 525-539.
    5. Duffie, Darrell & Scheicher, Martin & Vuillemey, Guillaume, 2015. "Central clearing and collateral demand," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 237-256.
    6. Patrick Bolton & Martin Oehmke, 2011. "Should Derivatives be Privileged in Bankruptcy?," NBER Working Papers 17599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bruno Biais & Florian Heider & Marie Hoerova, 2016. "Risk-Sharing or Risk-Taking? Counterparty Risk, Incentives, and Margins," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(4), pages 1669-1698, August.
    8. Biais, Bruno & Heider, Florian & Hoerova, Marie, 2014. "Risk-sharing or risk-taking? An incentive theory of counterparty risk, clearing and margins," IDEI Working Papers 834, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    9. 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.
    10. Kitty Moloney & Oisin Kenny & Neill Killeen, 2016. "Network analysis using EMIR credit default swap data: micro-level evidence from Irish-domiciled special purpose vehicles (SPVs)," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Combining micro and macro data for financial stability analysis, volume 41 Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Christoph Frei & Agostino Capponi & Celso Brunetti, 2017. "Managing Counterparty Risk in OTC Markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-083, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Acharya, Viral & Bisin, Alberto, 2014. "Counterparty risk externality: Centralized versus over-the-counter markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 153-182.
    13. Bruno Biais & Florian Heider & Marie Hoerova, 2012. "Clearing, Counterparty Risk, and Aggregate Risk," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(2), pages 193-222, July.
    14. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James R., 2017. "Information asymmetry and risk transfer markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 88-99.
    15. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James, 2012. "Who Participates in Risk Transfer Markets? The Role of Transaction Costs and Counterparty Risk," Working Papers 2012-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    16. Eric Stephens & James R. Thompson, 2015. "Separation Without Exclusion in Financial Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 82(4), pages 853-864, December.
    17. Jean-Sébastien Fontaine & Héctor Pérez Saiz & Joshua Slive, 2012. "When Lower Risk Increases Profit: Competition and Control of a Central Counterparty," Staff Working Papers 12-35, Bank of Canada.
    18. Ozerturk, Saltuk, 2014. "Ratings as regulatory stamps," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 17-29.
    19. Marti G. Subrahmanyam & Dragon Yongjun Tang & Sarah Qian Wang, 2012. "Does the Tail Wag the Dog? The Effect of Credit Default Swaps on Credit Risk," Working Papers 292012, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    20. Biais, B. & Heider, F. & Hoerova, M., 2013. "Incentive compatible centralised clearing," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 17, pages 161-168, April.
    21. Bolton, Patrick & Oehmke, Martin, 2013. "Strategic conduct in credit derivative markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 652-658.

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