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Did liquidity providers become liquidity seekers?

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  • Jaewon Choi
  • Or Shachar

Abstract

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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nina Boyarchenko & Pooja Gupta & Nick Steele & Jacqueline Yen, 2018. "Trends in credit basis spreads," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue 24-2, pages 15-37.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Florian Nagler & Giorgio Ottonello, 2017. "Structural Changes in Corporate Bond Underpricing," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1748, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. Rohan Arora & Guillaume Bédard-Pagé & Guillaume Ouellet Leblanc & Ryan Shotlander, 2019. "Bond Funds and Fixed-Income Market Liquidity: A Stress-Testing Approach," Technical Reports 115, Bank of Canada.
    6. 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.
    7. Benos, Evangelos & Zikes, Filip, 2016. "Liquidity determinants in the UK gilt market," Bank of England working papers 600, Bank of England.
    8. Pan, Kevin & Zeng, Yao, 2017. "ETF arbitrage under liquidity mismatch," ESRB Working Paper Series 59, European Systemic Risk Board.
    9. Feixue Gong & Gregory Phelan, 2020. "Collateral Constraints, Tranching, and Price Bases," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    10. Feixue Gong & Gregory Phelan, 2016. "Debt Collateralization, Structured Finance, and the CDS Basis," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-06, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Aug 2017.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Di Maggio, Marco & Kermani, Amir & Song, Zhaogang, 2017. "The value of trading relations in turbulent times," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 266-284.
    14. Benos, Evangelos & Žikeš, Filip, 2018. "Funding constraints and liquidity in two-tiered OTC markets," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 24-43.
    15. Isaenko, Sergey, 2015. "Equilibrium theory of stock market crashes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 73-94.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit default swaps; corporate bonds; Volcker rule; CDS-bond basis; limits to arbitrage; liquidity;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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