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Repo Haircuts and Economic Capital: A Theory of Repo Pricing

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  • Wujiang Lou

Abstract

A repurchase agreement lets investors borrow cash to buy securities. Financier only lends to securities' market value after a haircut and charges interest. Repo pricing is characterized with its puzzling dual pricing measures: repo haircut and repo spread. This article develops a repo haircut model by designing haircuts to achieve high credit criteria, and identifies economic capital for repo's default risk as the main driver of repo pricing. A simple repo spread formula is obtained that relates spread to haircuts negative linearly. An investor wishing to minimize all-in funding cost can settle at an optimal combination of haircut and repo rate. The model empirically reproduces repo haircut hikes concerning asset backed securities during the financial crisis. It explains tri-party and bilateral repo haircut differences, quantifies shortening tenor's risk reduction effect, and sets a limit on excess liquidity intermediating dealers can extract between money market funds and hedge funds.

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  • Wujiang Lou, 2016. "Repo Haircuts and Economic Capital: A Theory of Repo Pricing," Papers 1604.05404, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1604.05404
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Duffie, Darrell, 2011. "Measuring Corporate Default Risk," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279234.
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    3. Ning Cai & S. G. Kou, 2011. "Option Pricing Under a Mixed-Exponential Jump Diffusion Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(11), pages 2067-2081, November.
    4. Cyrus Ramezani & Yong Zeng, 2007. "Maximum likelihood estimation of the double exponential jump-diffusion process," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 487-507, October.
    5. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
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