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When Lower Risk Increases Profit: Competition and Control of a Central Counterparty

Author

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  • Jean-Sébastien Fontaine
  • Héctor Pérez Saiz
  • Joshua Slive

Abstract

We model the behavior of dealers in Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives markets where a small number of dealers trade with a continuum of heterogeneous clients (hedgers). Imperfect competition and (endogenous) default induce a familiar trade-off between competition and risk. Increasing the number of dealers servicing the market decreases the price paid by hedgers but lowers revenue for dealers, increasing the probability of a default. Restricting entry maximizes welfare when dealers’ efficiency is high relative to their market power. A Central Counter-Party (CCP) offering novation tilts the trade-off toward more competition. Free-entry is optimal for all level of dealers’ efficiency if they can constrain risk-taking by its members. In this model, dealers can choose CCP rules to restrict entry and increase their benefits. Moreover, dealers impose binding risk constraints to increase revenues at the expense of the hedgers. In other words, dealers can use risk controls to commit to a lower degree of competition. These theoretical results provide one rationalization of ongoing efforts by regulators globally to promote fair and risk-based access to CCPs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Sébastien Fontaine & Héctor Pérez Saiz & Joshua Slive, 2012. "When Lower Risk Increases Profit: Competition and Control of a Central Counterparty," Staff Working Papers 12-35, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:12-35
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:52:y:2017:i:05:p:2183-2215_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cruz Lopez, Jorge A. & Harris, Jeffrey H. & Hurlin, Christophe & Pérignon, Christophe, 2017. "CoMargin," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(05), pages 2183-2215, October.
      • Jorge Cruz Lopez & Jeffrey Harris & Christophe Hurlin & Christophe Pérignon, 2015. "CoMargin," Working Papers halshs-00979440, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial markets; Financial stability; Financial system regulation and policies;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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