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Liquidity Risk and Correlation Risk: A Clinical Study of the General Motors and Ford Downgrade of May 2005

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  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Schaefer, Stephen M
  • Zhang, Yili

Abstract

The GM and Ford downgrade to junk status during May 2005 caused a wide-spread sell-off in their corporate bonds. Using a novel dataset, we document that this sell-off appears to have generated significant liquidity risk for market-makers, as evidenced in the significant imbalance in their quotes towards sales. We also document that simultaneously, there was excess co-movement in the fixed-income securities of all industries, not just in those of auto firms. In particular, using credit-default swaps (CDS) data, we find a substantial increase in the co-movement between innovations in the CDS spreads of GM and Ford and those of firms in all other industries, the increase being greatest during the period surrounding the actual downgrade and reversing sharply thereafter. We show that a measure of liquidity risk faced by corporate bond market-makers – specifically, the imbalance towards sales in the volume and frequency of quotes on GM and Ford bonds – explains a significant portion of this excess co-movement. Additional robustness checks suggest that this relationship between the liquidity risk faced by market-makers and the correlation risk for other securities in which they make markets was likely causal. Overall, the evidence is supportive of theoretical models which imply that funding liquidity risk faced by financial intermediaries is a determinant of market prices during stress times.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V & Schaefer, Stephen M & Zhang, Yili, 2007. "Liquidity Risk and Correlation Risk: A Clinical Study of the General Motors and Ford Downgrade of May 2005," CEPR Discussion Papers 6619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6619
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhihua & Lookman, Aziz & Schürhoff, Norman & Seppi, Duane J, 2012. "Bond Ratings Matter: Evidence from the Lehman Brothers Index Rating Redefinition," CEPR Discussion Papers 9108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Markus Brunnermeier & Laurent Clerc & Yanis El Omari & Silvia Gabrieli & Steffen Kern & Christoph Memmel & Tuomas Peltonen & Natalia Podlich & Martin Scheicher & Guillaume Vuillemey, 2013. "Assessing contagion risks from the CDS market," ESRB Occasional Paper Series 04, European Systemic Risk Board.
    3. Arce, Oscar & Mayordomo, Sergio & Peña, Juan Ignacio, 2013. "Credit-risk valuation in the sovereign CDS and bonds markets: Evidence from the euro area crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 124-145.
    4. Silva, Paulo Pereira da & Vieira, Carlos & Vieira, Isabel, 2015. "The determinants of CDS open interest dynamics," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 95-109.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    excess co-movement; financial crises; funding liquidity; inventory risk; market liquidity;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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