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Risk-sharing or risk-taking? Counterparty risk, incentives and margins

Author

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  • Heider, Florian
  • Hoerova, Marie
  • Biais, Bruno

Abstract

We analyze optimal hedging contracts and show that although hedging aims at sharing risk, it can lead to more risk-taking. News implying that a hedge is likely to be loss-making undermines the risk-prevention incentives of the protection seller. This incentive problem limits the capacity to share risks and generates endogenous counterparty risk. Optimal hedging can therefore lead to contagion from news about insured risks to the balance sheet of insurers. Such endogenous risk is more likely to materialize ex post when the ex ante probability of counterparty default is low. Variation margins emerge as an optimal mechanism to enhance risk-sharing capacity. Paradoxically, they can also induce more risk-taking. Initial margins address the market failure caused by unregulated trading of hedging contracts among protection sellers. JEL Classification: G21, G22, D82

Suggested Citation

  • Heider, Florian & Hoerova, Marie & Biais, Bruno, 2012. "Risk-sharing or risk-taking? Counterparty risk, incentives and margins," Working Paper Series 1413, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Ellul & Vijay Yerramilli, 2010. "Stronger Risk Controls, Lower Risk: Evidence from U.S. Bank Holding Companies," NBER Chapters,in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Acharya, Viral & Bisin, Alberto, 2014. "Counterparty risk externality: Centralized versus over-the-counter markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 153-182.
    3. Bruno Biais & Catherine Casamatta, 1999. "Optimal Leverage and Aggregate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1291-1323, August.
    4. Christine A. Parlour & Guillaume Plantin, 2008. "Loan Sales and Relationship Banking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1291-1314, June.
    5. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James R., 2014. "CDS as insurance: Leaky lifeboats in stormy seas," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-299.
    6. James R. Thompson, 2010. "Counterparty Risk in Financial Contracts: Should the Insured Worry About the Insurer?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1195-1252.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitri Vayanos & Jiang Wang, 2012. "Market Liquidity - Theory and Empirical Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp709, Financial Markets Group.
    2. Bellia, Mario & Panzica, Roberto & Pelizzon, Loriana & Peltonen, Tuomas A., 2017. "The demand for central clearing: to clear or not to clear, that is the question," ESRB Working Paper Series 62, European Systemic Risk Board.
    3. Francesca Carapella & Cyril Monnet, 2017. "Dealers' Insurance, Market Structure, And Liquidity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-119, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Cyril Monnet & Thomas Nellen, 2014. "The Collateral Costs of Clearing," Working Papers 2014-04, Swiss National Bank.
    5. Bignon, Vincent & Vuillemey, Guillaume, 2016. "The Failure of a Clearinghouse: Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. 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.
    7. Christoph Frei & Agostino Capponi & Celso Brunetti, 2017. "Managing Counterparty Risk in OTC Markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-083, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Corradin, Stefano & Heider, Florian & Hoerova, Marie, 2017. "On collateral: implications for financial stability and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2107, European Central Bank.
    9. Stephens, Eric & Thompson, James R., 2017. "Information asymmetry and risk transfer markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 88-99.
    10. repec:ecb:ecbrbu:2017:0041:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Rosenthal, Dale W.R., 2009. "Market structure, counterparty risk, and systemic risk," MPRA Paper 36786, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Dec 2011.
    12. Bellia, Mario & Panzica, Roberto & Pelizzon, Loriana & Peltonen, Tuomas, 2018. "The demand for central clearing: To clear or not to clear, that is the question," SAFE Working Paper Series 193, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    13. Thorsten V. Koeppl, 2013. "The Limits of Central Counterparty Clearing: Collusive Moral Hazard and Market Liquidity," Working Papers 1312, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    14. Biais, B. & Heider, F. & Hoerova, M., 2013. "Incentive compatible centralised clearing," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 17, pages 161-168, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    counterparty risk; derivatives; Insurance; margin requirements; moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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