IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedgif/758.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Was there front running during the LTCM crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Fang Cai

Abstract

This paper uses a unique dataset of audit trail transactions to examine the trading behavior of market makers in the Treasury bond futures market when Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) faced binding margin constraints in 1998. Although identities are concealed in the dataset, I find strong evidence that during the crisis market makers in the aggregate engaged in front running against customer orders from a particular clearing firm (coded "PI7") that closely match various features of LTCM's trades through Bear Stearns. That is, market makers traded on their own accounts in the same direction as PI7 customers did, but one or two minutes beforehand. Furthermore, a significant percentage of market makers made abnormal profits on most of the trading days during the crisis. Their aggregate abnormal profits, however, were more than offset by abnormal losses realized after the private sector recapitalization of LTCM. Moreover, I show that before the rescue, a market maker's cumulative abnormal profit was positively correlated both to her tie as contra party with PI7 and to the intensity of her front running, but these relationships turned negative after the rescue. The overall evidence suggests that the recapitalization plan effectively relaxed LTCM's binding constraints and therefore reversed the profitability of front running.

Suggested Citation

  • Fang Cai, 2003. "Was there front running during the LTCM crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 758, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:758
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2003/758/default.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2003/758/ifdp758.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bessembinder, Hendrik, 1994. "Bid-ask spreads in the interbank foreign exchange markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 317-348, June.
    2. Christie, William G & Schultz, Paul H, 1994. " Why Do NASDAQ Market Makers Avoid Odd-Eighth Quotes?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1813-1840, December.
    3. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1991. "Sunshine Trading and Financial Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(3), pages 443-481.
    4. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2005. "Predatory Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1825-1863, August.
    5. H. Henry Cao & Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2017. "Inventory Information," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies in Foreign Exchange Economics, chapter 9, pages 363-413 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2002:i:5:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Chakravarty, Sugato & Li, Kai, 2003. "An examination of own account trading by dual traders in futures markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 375-397, August.
    8. Huang, Roger D. & Stoll, Hans R., 1996. "Dealer versus auction markets: A paired comparison of execution costs on NASDAQ and the NYSE," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 313-357, July.
    9. Harris, Larry, 2002. "Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195144703.
    10. Fishman, Michael J & Longstaff, Francis A, 1992. " Dual Trading in Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 643-671, June.
    11. Madrigal, Vicente, 1996. " Non-fundamental Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 553-578, June.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J. & Vila, Jean-Luc, 1992. "Optimal Dynamic Trading with Leverage Constraints," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(02), pages 151-168, June.
    13. Ready, Mark J, 1999. "The Specialist's Discretion: Stopped Orders and Price Improvement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 1075-1112.
    14. Brown, David P & Zhang, Zhi Ming, 1997. " Market Orders and Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 277-308, March.
    15. Todd C. Pulvino, 1998. "Do Asset Fire Sales Exist? An Empirical Investigation of Commercial Aircraft Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-978, June.
    16. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    17. Manaster, Steven & Mann, Steven C, 1996. "Life in the Pits: Competitive Market Making and Inventory Control," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 953-975.
    18. Madhavan, Ananth & Sofianos, George, 1998. "An empirical analysis of NYSE specialist trading," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 189-210, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Schoeneborn, Torsten & Schied, Alexander, 2007. "Liquidation in the Face of Adversity: Stealth Vs. Sunshine Trading, Predatory Trading Vs. Liquidity Provision," MPRA Paper 5548, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Viral V. Acharya & Denis Gromb & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2012. "Imperfect Competition in the Interbank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 184-217, April.
    3. Dyakov, Teodor & Verbeek, Marno, 2013. "Front-running of mutual fund fire-sales," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4931-4942.
    4. La׳O, Jennifer, 2014. "Predatory trading, Stigma and the Fed׳s Term Auction Facility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 57-75.
    5. Matthew Pritsker, 2005. "Large investors: implications for equilibrium asset, returns, shock absorption, and liquidity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Joseph Chen & Samuel Hanson & Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Do Hedge Funds Profit From Mutual-Fund Distress?," NBER Working Papers 13786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:427-445 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital market ; Financial crises;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:758. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Franz Osorio). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.