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Too-Systemic-To-Fail: What Option Markets Imply About Sector-wide Government Guarantees

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  • Kelly, Bryan
  • Lustig, Hanno
  • van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn

Abstract

We examine the pricing of financial crash insurance during the 2007-2009 financial crisis in U.S. option markets. A large amount of aggregate tail risk is missing from the price of financial sector crash insurance during the financial crisis. The difference in costs of out-of-the-money put options for individual banks, and puts on the financial sector index, increases fourfold from its pre-crisis 2003-2007 level. We provide evidence that a collective government guarantee for the financial sector, which lowers index put prices far more than those of individual banks, explains the divergence in the basket-index put spread.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly, Bryan & Lustig, Hanno & van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2012. "Too-Systemic-To-Fail: What Option Markets Imply About Sector-wide Government Guarantees," CEPR Discussion Papers 9023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial crisis; government bailout; option pricing models; systemic risk; too-big-to-fail;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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