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Clearing, counterparty risk and aggregate risk

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

We study the optimal design of clearing systems. We analyze how counterparty risk should be allocated, whether traders should be fully insured against that risk, and how moral hazard affects the optimal allocation of risk. The main advantage of centralized clearing, as opposed to no or decentralized clearing, is the mutualization of risk. While mutualization fully insures idiosyncratic risk, it cannot provide insurance against aggregate risk. When the latter is significant, it is efficient that protection buyers exert effort to find robust counterparties, whose low default risk makes it possible for the clearing system to withstand aggregate shocks. When this effort is unobservable, incentive compatibility requires that protection buyers retain some exposure to counterparty risk even with centralized clearing. JEL Classification: G22, G28, D82

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File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1481.pdf
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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1481.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121481
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  1. Viral V. Acharya & Alberto Bisin, 2011. "Counterparty Risk Externality: Centralized Versus Over-the-counter Markets," NBER Working Papers 17000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James R. Thompson, 2010. "Counterparty Risk in Financial Contracts: Should the Insured Worry about the Insurer?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1195-1252, August.
  3. Koeppl, Thorsten V. & Monnet, Cyril, 2008. "Central counterparties," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/42, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1998. "Mechanism Design with Collusion and Correlation," IDEI Working Papers 81, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. David Mills & Francesca Carapella, 2012. "Information insensitive securities: the benefits of central counterparties," 2012 Meeting Papers 1032, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Thorsten Koeppl & Cyril Monnet & Ted Temzelides, 2009. "Optimal Clearing Arrangements for Financial Trades," Working Papers 1222, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
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