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A proposal for impact-adjusted valuation: Critical leverage and execution risk

  • Fabio Caccioli
  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud
  • J. Doyne Farmer

The practice of valuation by marking-to-market with current trading prices is seriously flawed. Under leverage the problem is particularly dramatic: due to the concave form of market impact, selling always initially causes the expected leverage to increase. There is a critical leverage above which it is impossible to exit a portfolio without leverage going to infinity and bankruptcy becoming likely. Standard risk-management methods give no warning of this problem, which easily occurs for aggressively leveraged positions in illiquid markets. We propose an alternative accounting procedure based on the estimated market impact of liquidation that removes the illusion of profit. This should curb the leverage cycle and contribute to an enhanced stability of financial markets.

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File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0922
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Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1204.0922.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision: Aug 2012
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1204.0922
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://arxiv.org/

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  1. Xavier Gabaix & Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Vasiliki Plerou & H. Eugene Stanley, 2005. "Institutional Investors and Stock Market Volatility," NBER Working Papers 11722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carlo Acerbi & Giacomo Scandolo, 2008. "Liquidity risk theory and coherent measures of risk," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(7), pages 681-692.
  3. Fabio Caccioli & Susanne Still & Matteo Marsili & Imre Kondor, 2013. "Optimal liquidation strategies regularize portfolio selection," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(6), pages 554-571, July.
  4. J. Doyne Farmer & Austin Gerig & Fabrizio Lillo & Henri Waelbroeck, 2011. "How efficiency shapes market impact," Papers 1102.5457, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2013.
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