IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Did liquidity providers become liquidity seekers?


  • Jaewon Choi
  • Or Shachar


The misalignment between corporate bond and credit default swap (CDS) spreads (i.e., CDS-fbond basis) during the 2007-09 financial crisis is often attributed to corporate bond dealers shedding off their inventory, right when liquidity was scarce. This paper documents evidence against this widespread perception. In the months following Lehman’s collapse, dealers, including proprietary trading desks in investment banks, provided liquidity in response to the large selling by clients. Corporate bond inventory of dealers rose sharply as a result. Although providing liquidity, limits to arbitrage, possibly in the form of limited capital, obstructed the convergence of the basis. We further show that the unwinding of precrisis “basis trades” by hedge funds is the main driver of the large negative basis. Price drops following Lehman’s collapse were concentrated among bonds with available CDS contracts and high activity in basis trades. Overall, our results indicate that hedge funds that serve as alternative liquidity providers at times, not dealers, caused the disruption in the credit market.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaewon Choi & Or Shachar, 2013. "Did liquidity providers become liquidity seekers?," Staff Reports 650, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:650

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francis A. Longstaff & Sanjay Mithal & Eric Neis, 2005. "Corporate Yield Spreads: Default Risk or Liquidity? New Evidence from the Credit Default Swap Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2213-2253, October.
    2. Patrick Houweling & Ton Vorst, 2001. "An Empirical Comparison of Default Swap Pricing Models," Finance 0112003, EconWPA.
    3. Nicolae Gârleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2011. "Margin-based Asset Pricing and Deviations from the Law of One Price," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1980-2022.
    4. Viral V. Acharya & S. Viswanathan, 2011. "Leverage, Moral Hazard, and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 99-138, February.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    6. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
    7. Mitchell, Mark & Pulvino, Todd, 2012. "Arbitrage crashes and the speed of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 469-490.
    8. Patrick Bolton & Martin Oehmke, 2011. "Credit Default Swaps and the Empty Creditor Problem," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(8), pages 2617-2655.
    9. Paul Schultz, 2001. "Corporate Bond Trading Costs: A Peek Behind the Curtain," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 677-698, April.
    10. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamic Relation between Investment-Grade Bonds and Credit Default Swaps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2255-2281, October.
    11. Alessio Saretto & Heather E. Tookes, 2013. "Corporate Leverage, Debt Maturity, and Credit Supply: The Role of Credit Default Swaps," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(5), pages 1190-1247.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Oehmke, Martin & Zawadowski, Adam, 2015. "Synthetic or real? The equilibrium effects of credit default swaps on bond markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84511, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Marco Del Negro & Gauti Eggertsson & Andrea Ferrero & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 2017. "The Great Escape? A Quantitative Evaluation of the Fed's Liquidity Facilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 824-857, March.
    4. Benos, Evangelos & Zikes, Filip, 2016. "Liquidity determinants in the UK gilt market," Bank of England working papers 600, Bank of England.
    5. Kevin Pan & Yao Zeng, 2017. "ETF arbitrage under liquidity mismatch," ESRB Working Paper Series 59, European Systemic Risk Board.
    6. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani & Zhaogang Song, 2016. "The Value of Trading Relationships in Turbulent Times," NBER Working Papers 22332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gong Feixue & Gregory Phelan, 2017. "Debt Collateralization, Structured Finance, and the CDS Basis," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    8. repec:eee:jfinec:v:124:y:2017:i:2:p:266-284 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Isaenko, Sergey, 2015. "Equilibrium theory of stock market crashes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 73-94.

    More about this item


    Swaps (Finance) ; Corporate bonds ; Liquidity (Economics) ; Hedge funds;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:fednsr:650. 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: (Amy Farber). General contact details of provider: .

    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.