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CDS Central Counterparty Clearing Default Measures: Road to Recovery or Invitation to Predation?


  • Magdalena Tywoniuk

    (Swiss Finance Institute, Students; University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI); Swiss Finance Institute, Students)


Following the 2008 financial crisis, regulation mandates the clearing of the CDS market through Central Clearing Counter-parties (CCPs). Large CCPs are now designated as ’Global Systemically Important Institutions’ (GSIIs), whose unlikely-but-plausible failure threatens global financial market stability. This work examines CCP resilience following a large dealer member’s default and the ensuing default contagion. In unwinding the defaulter’s positions, the CCP faces the price impact of constrained member liquidations and unconstrained members’ predatory selling. The variation margin captures the effect of price-mediated contagion and its amplification. A novel spatial measure captures the covariance between members’ CDS holdings and the CDS being unwound. Key results show: Liquidations by constrained members lower the CCP’s profits and make cds-spreads less informative. There exists a strong conflict between predatory competition and dealer distress, which inadvertently makes dealers prey on themselves. In turn, the adoption of a risk-sharing guarantee fund structure would provide a natural disciplinary mechanism for predation – minimizing overall CCP and member losses. A dynamic simulation, calibrated to OTC market data, supports these theoretical results with parameter magnitudes and sensitivities. Examination of three market liquidity scenarios provides intuition for effective liquidity injection by a Lender of Last Resort.

Suggested Citation

  • Magdalena Tywoniuk, 2020. "CDS Central Counterparty Clearing Default Measures: Road to Recovery or Invitation to Predation?," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 20-95, Swiss Finance Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp2095

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    Cited by:

    1. Friesz, Melinda & Váradi, Kata, 2023. "Your skin or mine: Ensuring the viability of a central counterparty," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    2. Melinda Friesz & Kira Muratov-Szabó & Andrea Prepuk & Kata Váradi, 2021. "Risk Mutualization in Central Clearing: An Answer to the Cross-Guarantee Phenomenon from the Financial Stability Viewpoint," Risks, MDPI, vol. 9(8), pages 1-19, August.

    More about this item


    Systemic Risk; CCP Recovery; CDS; CDS Spread Fire Sales; Liquidation; Predation; Price Impact; Contagion; Financial Network; Over the Counter Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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