IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Illiquidity and Insolvency: a Double Cascade Model of Financial Crises

  • Thomas R. Hurd
  • Davide Cellai
  • Sergey Melnik
  • Quentin Shao
Registered author(s):

    The scope of financial systemic risk research encompasses a wide range of channels and effects, including asset correlation shocks, default contagion, illiquidity contagion, and asset firesales. For example, insolvency of a given bank will create a shock to the asset side of the balance sheet of each of its creditor banks and under some circumstances, such "downstream" shocks can cause further insolvencies that may build up to create what is called an insolvency or default cascade. On the other hand, funding illiquidity that hits a given bank will create a shock to the liability side of the balance sheet of each of its debtor banks. Under some circumstances, such "upstream" shocks can cause illiquidity in further banks that may build up to create an illiquidity cascade. This paper introduces a deliberately simplified financial network model that combines the default and liquidity stress mechanisms into a "double cascade mapping". The progress and eventual result of the crisis is obtained by iterating this mapping to its fixed point. Unlike simpler models, this model can therefore quantify how illiquidity or default of one bank influences the eventual overall level of liquidity stress and default in the system. Large-network asymptotic cascade mapping formulas are derived that can be used for efficient network computations of the double cascade. Numerical experiments then demonstrate that these asymptotic formulas agree qualitatively with Monte Carlo results for large finite networks, and quantitatively except when the initial system is placed in an exceptional "knife-edge" configuration. The experiments clearly support the main conclusion that in the absence of fire sales, the average eventual level of defaults in a financial network is negatively related to the strength of banks' liquidity stress response and the eventual level of stress in the network.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by in its series Papers with number 1310.6873.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Oct 2013
    Date of revision: Nov 2014
    Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1310.6873
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Gai, Prasanna & Haldane, Andrew & Kapadia, Sujit, 2011. "Complexity, concentration and contagion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(5), pages 453-470.
    2. Morten L. Bech & Enghin Atalay, 2008. "The topology of the federal funds market," Staff Reports 354, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. Nier, Erlend & Yang, Jing & Yorulmazer, Tanju & Alentorn, Amadeo, 2007. "Network models and financial stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 2033-2060, June.
    4. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
    5. Thomas R. Hurd & James P. Gleeson, 2011. "A framework for analyzing contagion in banking networks," Papers 1110.4312,
    6. Larry Eisenberg & Thomas H. Noe, 2001. "Systemic Risk in Financial Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(2), pages 236-249, February.
    7. Rodrigo Cifuentes & Hyun Song Shin & Gianluigi Ferrucci, 2005. "Liquidity Risk and Contagion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 556-566, 04/05.
    8. Gai, Prasanna & Kapadia, Sujit, 2010. "Contagion in financial networks," Bank of England working papers 383, Bank of England.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1310.6873. 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: (arXiv administrators)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.