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The Credit Default Swap Market and the Settlement of Large Defaults


  • Virginie Coudert
  • Mathieu Gex


The huge positions on the credit default swaps (CDS) have raised concerns about the ability of the market to settle major entities’ defaults. The near-failure of AIG and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008 have revealed the exposure of CDS’s buyers to counterparty risk and hence highlighted the necessity of organizing the market, which triggered a large reform process. First we analyse the vulnerabilities of the market at the bursting of this crisis. Second, to understand its resilience to major credit events, we unravel the auction process implemented to settle defaults, the strategies of buyers and sellers and the links with the bond market. We then study the way it worked for key defaults, such as Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, CIT and Thomson, as well as, for the Government Sponsored Enterprises. Third, we discuss the ongoing reforms aimed at strengthening the market resilience.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginie Coudert & Mathieu Gex, 2010. "The Credit Default Swap Market and the Settlement of Large Defaults," Working Papers 2010-17, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Mody, Ashoka & Nedeljkovic, Milan & Sarno, Lucio, 2012. "How the Subprime Crisis went global: Evidence from bank credit default swap spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1299-1318.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikhail Chernov & Alexander S. Gorbenko & Igor Makarov, 2013. "CDS Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 768-805.
    2. Augustin, Patrick & Subrahmanyam, Marti G. & Tang, Dragon Yongjun & Wang, Sarah Qian, 2014. "Credit Default Swaps: A Survey," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 1-196, December.
    3. Agata Kliber & Barbara Bedowska-Sojka, 2013. "Economic Situation of the Country or Risk in the World Financial Market? The Dynamics of Polish Sovereign Credit Default Swap Spreads," Dynamic Econometric Models, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 13, pages 87-106.
    4. Thomas Dimpfl & Franziska J. Peter, 2012. "Using transfer entropy to measure information flows between financial markets," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-051, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    5. Vuillemey, Guillaume & Peltonen, Tuomas A., 2015. "Disentangling the bond–CDS nexus: A stress test model of the CDS market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 32-45.
    6. Dimpfl Thomas & Peter Franziska Julia, 2013. "Using transfer entropy to measure information flows between financial markets," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 85-102, February.

    More about this item


    Credit derivatives; bankruptcy; credit default swap; auction;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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