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Market distress and vanishing liquidity: anatomy and policy options

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  • Claudio E. V. Borio

Abstract

Since the 1980s, a number of episodes of financial market distress have underscored the importance of the smooth functioning of markets for the stability of the financial system. At the heart of these episodes was a sudden and drastic reduction in market liquidity, characterised by disorderly adjustments in asset prices, a sharp increase in the costs of executing transactions and, in the most acute cases, a "seizing up" of markets. This essay explores the anatomy of market distress as well as the policy options to address it. It argues that, despite appearances, the genesis and dynamics of market distress resemble quite closely those of banking distress and that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the growth of markets for tradable instruments, and hence the greater scope to sell assets and raise cash, need not have reduced the likelihood of funding (liquidity) crises. At times of distress, in contrast to more normal times, risk management practices, funding constraints and counterparty risk become critical determinants of market liquidity. Articulating an appropriate policy response calls for an approach that takes full account of the interdependencies between the behaviour of market participants and market dynamics. To date, much useful work has been done to address market distress by improving the market infrastructure and the risk management at individual financial institutions. The territory that remains largely unexplored is precisely the link between the collective actions of individual market participants and market dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio E. V. Borio, 2004. "Market distress and vanishing liquidity: anatomy and policy options," BIS Working Papers 158, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Helena, BELTRAN & Alain, DURRE & Pierre, GIOT, 2004. "Volatility regimes and the provisions of liquidity in order book markets," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005015, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    2. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2007. "Crashes and recoveries in illiquid markets," Working Paper 0708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Ilhyock Shim & Goetz von Peter, 2007. "Distress selling and asset market feedback," BIS Working Papers 229, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Lawrence Kreicher & Robert N McCauley & Philip Wooldridge, 2014. "Benchmark tipping in the global bond market," BIS Working Papers 466, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Bezemer, Dirk J., 2010. "Understanding financial crisis through accounting models," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 676-688, October.
    6. Bliss, Robert R. & Kaufman, George G., 2006. "Derivatives and systemic risk: Netting, collateral, and closeout," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 55-70, April.
    7. Robert R. Bliss & George G. Kaufman, 2005. "Derivatives and systemic risk: netting, collateral, and closeout," Working Paper Series WP-05-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Prasanna Gai & Sujit Kapadia & Stephen Millard & Ander Perez, 2008. "Financial Innovation, Macroeconomic Stability and Systemic Crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 401-426, March.
    9. Anastasia Nesvetailova, 2012. "Liquidity Illusions in the Global Financial Architecture," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on International Financial Regulation, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Paul Lejot & Douglas Arner & Liu Qiao, 2006. "Missing Links: Regional Reforms for Asia's Bond Markets," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 309-331, July.
    11. Michele Caivano & Lisa Rodano & Stefano Siviero, 2010. "The transmission of the global financial crisis to the Italian economy. A counterfactual analysis, 2008-2010," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 64, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Wang, Jianxin, 2013. "Liquidity commonality among Asian equity markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1209-1231.
    13. Dirk J. Bezemer, 2012. "Modelos contables y comprensión de la crisis financiera," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 14(26), pages 47-76, January-J.
    14. Morten Linnemann Bech & Anamaria Illes & Ulf Lewrick & Andreas Schrimpf, 2016. "Hanging up the phone - electronic trading in fixed income markets and its implications," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    15. Dietrich Domanski & Leonardo Gambacorta & Cristina Picillo, 2015. "Central clearing: trends and current issues," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
    16. Borio, Claudio & Tsatsaronis, Kostas, 2004. "Accounting and prudential regulation: from uncomfortable bedfellows to perfect partners?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 111-135, September.
    17. Muhammad Farhan Malik & Amir Rafique, 2013. "Commercial Banks Liquidity in Pakistan: Firm Specific and Macroeconomic Factors," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 16(48), pages 139-154, June.
    18. Bengtsson, Elias, 2013. "Shadow banking and financial stability: European money market funds in the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 579-594.

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