IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/rfinst/v24y2011i10p3250-3280.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Bear's Lair: Index Credit Default Swaps and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Stanton
  • Nancy Wallace

Abstract

During the recent financial crisis, ABX.HE index credit default swaps (CDS) on baskets of mortgage-backed securities were a benchmark widely used by financial institutions to mark their subprime mortgage portfolios to market. However, we find that prices for the AAA ABX.HE index CDS during the crisis were inconsistent with any reasonable assumption for mortgage default rates, and that these price changes are only weakly correlated with observed changes in the credit performance of the underlying loans in the index, casting serious doubt on the suitability of these CDS as valuation benchmarks. We also find that the AAA ABX.HE index CDS price changes are related to short-sale activity for publicly traded investment banks with significant mortgage market exposure. This suggests that capital constraints, limiting the supply of mortgage-bond insurance, may be playing a role here similar to that identified by Froot (2001) in the market for catastrophe insurance. The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Stanton & Nancy Wallace, 2011. "The Bear's Lair: Index Credit Default Swaps and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3250-3280.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:24:y:2011:i:10:p:3250-3280
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhr073
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 1761-1800.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 145-161.
    3. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
    4. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1185-1202.
    5. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2003. "A Parsimonious Macroeconomic Model for Asset Pricing: Habit Formation or Cross-sectional Heterogeneity?," RCER Working Papers 499, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    6. Jagannathan, Ravi & Wang, Zhenyu, 1996. " The Conditional CAPM and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 3-53, March.
    7. Lewellen, Jonathan & Nagel, Stefan, 2006. "The conditional CAPM does not explain asset-pricing anomalies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 289-314, November.
    8. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
    9. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1449-1494.
    10. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
    11. Campbell, John Y, 1996. "Understanding Risk and Return," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 298-345, April.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 222-227.
    13. Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F, 1990. "Expectations and Volatility of Consumption and Asset Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 207-232.
    14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    15. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah J, 1996. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 443-487, June.
    16. Shiller, Robert J., 1995. "Aggregate income risks and hedging mechanisms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 119-152.
    17. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-179, March.
    18. John H. Boyd & Jian Hu & Ravi Jagannathan, 2005. "The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News Is Usually Good for Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 649-672, April.
    19. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    20. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 170-180.
    21. Jacob Boudoukh & Roni Michaely & Matthew Richardson & Michael R. Roberts, 2007. "On the Importance of Measuring Payout Yield: Implications for Empirical Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 877-915, April.
    22. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2003. "Real-Time Price Discovery in Stock, Bond and Foreign Exchange Markets," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 28 Jun 2004.
    23. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity-Premium Puzzle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 257-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 170-180.
    25. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 487-512.
    26. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
    27. Grossman, Sanford J & Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 222-227.
    28. Casey B. Mulligan, 2004. "Robust Aggregate Implications of Stochastic Discount Factor Volatility," NBER Working Papers 10210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Bottazzi, Laura & Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "Wages, profits and the international portfolio puzzle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-254, February.
    30. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of the Risk Properties of Human Capital Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 948-964.
    31. Julliard, Christian, 2002. "The international diversification puzzle is not worse than you think," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4814, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    32. Robert E. Hall, 2000. "The stock market and capital accumulation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    33. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    34. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "The Robustness of the Conditional CAPM with Human Capital," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 1(2), pages 272-289.
    35. Andrew Young, 2004. "Labor's Share Fluctuations, Biased Technical Change, and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 916-931, October.
    36. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1185-1202.
    37. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 8896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2005. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle in the Presence of 'Trickle Down' Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 11247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-574, May.
    40. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2001. "The human capital of stockholders and the international diversification puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 309-331, August.
    41. John H. Cochrane, 1994. "Permanent and Transitory Components of GNP and Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 241-265.
    42. Aadland, David & Huang, Kevin X. D., 2004. "Consistent high-frequency calibration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 2277-2295.
    43. Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 825-853, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Louzis, Dimitrios P. & Vouldis, Angelos T. & Metaxas, Vasilios L., 2012. "Macroeconomic and bank-specific determinants of non-performing loans in Greece: A comparative study of mortgage, business and consumer loan portfolios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1012-1027.
    2. Flavin, Thomas J. & Sheenan, Lisa, 2015. "The role of U.S. subprime mortgage-backed assets in propagating the crisis: Contagion or interdependence?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 167-186.
    3. José Jorge, 2016. "Sovereign Ratings and Investor Behavior," CEF.UP Working Papers 1601, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Tsionas, Mike G., 2016. "Parameters measuring bank risk and their estimation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 291-304.
    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. Beltratti, Andrea & Spear, Nasser & Szabo, Mark Daniel, 2013. "The Value Relevance and Timeliness of Write-downs During the Financial Crisis of 2007–2009," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 467-494.
    7. Rossen Valkanov & Andra Ghent, 2014. "Complexity in Structured Finance: Financial Wizardry or Smoke and Mirrors," 2014 Meeting Papers 104, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Wojtowicz, Marcin, 2014. "CDOs and the financial crisis: Credit ratings and fair premia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-13.
    9. Warren Bailey & Lin Zheng & Yinggang Zhou, 2012. "What Makes the VIX Tick?," Working Papers 222012, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    10. Lahiani, Amine & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Gupta, Rangan, 2016. "Linkages between financial sector CDS spreads and macroeconomic influence in a nonlinear setting," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 443-456.
    11. Beatty, Anne & Liao, Scott, 2014. "Financial accounting in the banking industry: A review of the empirical literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 339-383.
    12. Driessen, Joost & Van Hemert, Otto, 2012. "Pricing of commercial real estate securities during the 2007–2009 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 37-61.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:24:y:2011:i:10:p:3250-3280. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfsssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.