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Fire-sale spillovers and systemic risk

  • Fernando Duarte
  • Thomas Eisenbach

We construct a new systemic risk measure that quantifies vulnerability to fire-sale spillovers using detailed regulatory balance-sheet data for U.S. commercial banks and repo market data for broker-dealers. Even for moderate shocks in normal times, fire-sale externalities can be substantial. For commercial banks, a 1 percent exogenous shock to assets in the first quarter of 2013 produces fire-sale externalities equal to 10 percent of system equity. For broker-dealers, a 0.1 percent shock to assets in August 2013 generates spillover losses equivalent to almost 6 percent of system equity. Externalities during the last financial crisis are between two and three times larger. Our systemic risk measure reaches a peak in the fall of 2008 but shows a notable increase starting in 2005, ahead of many other systemic risk indicators. Although the largest banks and broker-dealers produce—and are victims of—most of the externalities, leverage and "connectedness" of financial institutions also play important roles.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 645.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:645
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  1. Diebold, Francis X. & Yilmaz, Kamil, 2008. "Measuring financial asset return and volatilty spillovers, with application to global equity markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  16. Ellul, Andrew & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T., 2011. "Regulatory pressure and fire sales in the corporate bond market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 596-620, September.
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