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Analyzing Default Risk and Liquidity Demand during a Financial Crisis: The Case of Canada


  • Jason Allen
  • Ali Hortaçsu
  • Jakub Kastl


This paper explores the reliability of using prices of credit default swap contracts (CDS) as indicators of default probabilities during the 2007/2008 financial crisis. We use data from the Canadian financial system to show that these publicly available risk measures, while indicative of initial problems of the financial system as a whole, do not seem to correspond to risks implied by the cross-sectional heterogeneity in bank behavior in short-term lending markets. Strategies in, and reliance on the payments system as well as special liquidity-supplying tools provided by the central bank seem to be more important additional indicators of distress of individual banks, or lack thereof than the CDSs. It therefore seems that central banks should utilize high-frequency data on liquidity demand to obtain a better picture of financial health of individual participants of the financial system.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Allen & Ali Hortaçsu & Jakub Kastl, 2011. "Analyzing Default Risk and Liquidity Demand during a Financial Crisis: The Case of Canada," Staff Working Papers 11-17, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:11-17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gara Afonso & Anna Kovner & Antoinette Schoar, 2011. "Stressed, Not Frozen: The Federal Funds Market in the Financial Crisis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1109-1139, August.
    2. Nuno Cassola & Ali Hortaçsu & Jakub Kastl, 2013. "The 2007 Subprime Market Crisis Through the Lens of European Central Bank Auctions for Short‐Term Funds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1309-1345, July.
    3. Paolo Angelini & Andrea Nobili & Cristina Picillo, 2011. "The Interbank Market after August 2007: What Has Changed, and Why?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(5), pages 923-958, August.
    4. Ali Hortacsu & Jakub Kastl, 2010. "Informational Advantage and Information Structure: An Analysis of Canadian Treasury Auctions," Discussion Papers 09-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Johannes C. Stroebel & John B. Taylor, 2009. "Estimated Impact of the Fed's Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program," NBER Working Papers 15626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John B. Taylor & John C. Williams, 2009. "A black swan in the money market," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
    7. Stéphane Lavoie & Alex Sebastian & Virginie Traclet, 2011. "Lessons from the Use of Extraordinary Central Bank Liquidity Facilities," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2011(Spring), pages 27-36.
    8. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
    9. Arora, Navneet & Gandhi, Priyank & Longstaff, Francis A., 2012. "Counterparty credit risk and the credit default swap market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 280-293.
    10. Gara Afonso & Anna Kovner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "Stressed not Frozen: The Fed Funds Market in the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. James Chapman & Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2013. "A Model of Tiered Settlement Networks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(2-3), pages 327-347, March.
    12. Viral V. Acharya & Ouarda Merrouche, 2013. "Precautionary Hoarding of Liquidity and Interbank Markets: Evidence from the Subprime Crisis," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 107-160.
    13. Eisenschmidt, Jens & Hirsch, Astrid & Linzert, Tobias, 2009. "Bidding behaviour in the ECB's main refinancing operations during the financial crisis," Working Paper Series 1052, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Sarmiento & Jorge Cely & Carlos León, 2015. "Monitoring the Unsecured Interbank Funds Market," Borradores de Economia 917, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Xavier Vives, 2014. "On The Possibility Of Informationally Efficient Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1200-1239, October.
    3. Héctor Pérez Saiz & Gabriel Xerri, 2016. "Credit Risk and Collateral Demand in a Retail Payment System," Discussion Papers 16-16, Bank of Canada.
    4. Anna Kovner & David R. Skeie, 2013. "Evaluating the quality of fed funds lending estimates produced from Fedwire payments data," Staff Reports 629, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Olivier Armantier & Adam Copeland, 2012. "Assessing the quality of “Furfine-based” algorithms," Staff Reports 575, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Céline Gauthier & Moez Souissi & Xuezhi Liu, 2014. "Introducing Funding Liquidity Risk in a Macro Stress-Testing Framework," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(4), pages 105-142, December.
    7. Mark Rempel, 2016. "Improving Overnight Loan Identification in Payments Systems," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 549-564, March.
    8. Sarmiento, Miguel & Cely, Jorge & León, Carlos, 2017. "An early warning indicator system to monitor the unsecured interbank funds market," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 114-128.
    9. Georges Dionne & Olfa Maalaoui Chun, 2013. "Default and liquidity regimes in the bond market during the 2002-2012 period," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1160-1195, November.
    10. Fuchun Li & Héctor Pérez Saiz, 2016. "Measuring Systemic Risk Across Financial Market Infrastructures," Staff Working Papers 16-10, Bank of Canada.
    11. James Chapman & H. Evren Damar, 2015. "Shock Transmission Through International Banks: Canada," Technical Reports 105, Bank of Canada.
    12. Armantier, Olivier & Copeland, Adam, 2015. "Challenges in identifying interbank loans," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue 21-1, pages 1-17.

    More about this item


    Financial Institutions; Financial markets; Payment; clearing; and settlement systems;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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