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Toxic Arbitrage

Author

Listed:
  • Thierry Foucault
  • Roman Kozhan
  • Wing Wah Tham

Abstract

Short-lived arbitrage opportunities arise when prices adjust with a lag to new information. They are toxic because they expose dealers to the risk of trading at stale quotes. Hence, theory implies that more frequent toxic arbitrage opportunities and faster responses to these opportunities should impair liquidity. We provide supporting evidence using data on triangular arbitrage. As predicted, illiquidity is higher on days when the fraction of toxic arbitrage opportunities and arbitrageurs’ relative speed are higher. Overall, our findings suggest that the price efficiency gain of high-frequency arbitrage comes at the cost of increased adverse selection risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Foucault & Roman Kozhan & Wing Wah Tham, 2017. "Toxic Arbitrage," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 1053-1094.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:30:y:2017:i:4:p:1053-1094.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Lescourret, Laurence & Moinas, Sophie, 2014. "Liquidity Supply across Multiple Trading Venues," TSE Working Papers 14-533, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Mar 2015.
    3. Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2018. "What is the Point of (the Hundreds of Thousands of Billions of) Stock Transactions?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(1), pages 15-33, March.
    4. Songzi Du & Haoxiang Zhu, 2014. "Welfare and Optimal Trading Frequency in Dynamic Double Auctions," NBER Working Papers 20588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Foucault, Thierry & Moinas, Sophie, 2018. "Is Trading Fast Dangerous?," TSE Working Papers 18-881, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Jun Aoyagi, 2019. "Strategic Speed Choice by High-Frequency Traders under Speed Bumps," ISER Discussion Paper 1050, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. Lisa Anderson & Emad Andrews & Baiju Devani & Michael Mueller & Adrian Walton, 2018. "Speed Segmentation on Exchanges: Competition for Slow Flow," Staff Working Papers 18-3, Bank of Canada.
    8. Miriam Marra, 2017. "Explaining co-movements between equity and CDS bid-ask spreads," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 811-853, October.
    9. Bernales, Alejandro & Garrido, Nicolás & Sagade, Satchit & Valenzuela, Marcela & Westheide, Christian, 2020. "Trader Competition in Fragmented Markets: Liquidity Supply versus Picking-off Risk," SAFE Working Paper Series 234, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    10. Hautsch, Nikolaus & Scheuch, Christoph & Voigt, Stefan, 2018. "Limits to arbitrage in markets with stochastic settlement latency," CFS Working Paper Series 616, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    11. Oliver Linton & Soheil Mahmoodzadeh, 2018. "Implications of High-Frequency Trading for Security Markets," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 237-259, August.
    12. Zhou, Hao & Kalev, Petko S., 2019. "Algorithmic and high frequency trading in Asia-Pacific, now and the future," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 186-207.
    13. Nikolaus Hautsch & Christoph Scheuch & Stefan Voigt, 2018. "Building Trust Takes Time: Limits to Arbitrage in Blockchain-Based Markets," Papers 1812.00595, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    14. Foucault, T., 2016. "Where are the risks in high frequency trading?," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 20, pages 53-67, April.
    15. Mila Getmansky & Ravi Jagannathan & Loriana Pelizzon & Ernst Schaumburg & Darya Yuferova, 2017. "Stock Price Crashes: Role of Slow-Moving Capital," NBER Working Papers 24098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Darolles, Serge & Le Fol, Gaëlle & Mero, Gulten, 2017. "Mixture of distribution hypothesis: Analyzing daily liquidity frictions and information flows," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 201(2), pages 367-383.
    17. Viktor Manahov, 2018. "The rise of the machines in commodities markets: new evidence obtained using Strongly Typed Genetic Programming," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 260(1), pages 321-352, January.
    18. Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2017. "À quoi servent les (centaines de milliers de milliards de) transactions boursières ?," Revue d'économie financière, Association d'économie financière, vol. 0(3), pages 37-58.
    19. Breckenfelder, Johannes, 2019. "Competition among high-frequency traders, and market quality," Working Paper Series 2290, European Central Bank.
    20. Gulten Mero & Serge Darolles & Gaëlle Le Fol, 2015. "Financial Market Liquidity: Who Is Acting Strategically?," THEMA Working Papers 2015-14, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

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    JEL classification:

    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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