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Why Do Markets Crash? Bitcoin Data Offers Unprecedented Insights

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  • Jonathan Donier

    () (LPMA - Laboratoire de Probabilités et Modèles Aléatoires - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris, CFM - Capital Fund Management - Capital Fund Management)

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

    (CFM - Capital Fund Management - Capital Fund Management, CFM-Imperial Institute of Quantitative Finance - Imperial College London)

Abstract

Crashes have fascinated and baffled many canny observers of financial markets. In the strict orthodoxy of the efficient market theory, crashes must be due to sudden changes of the fundamental valuation of assets. However, detailed empirical studies suggest that large price jumps cannot be explained by news and are the result of endogenous feedback loops. Although plausible, a clear-cut empirical evidence for such a scenario is still lacking. Here we show how crashes are conditioned by the market liquidity, for which we propose a new measure inspired by recent theories of market impact and based on readily available, public information. Our results open the possibility of a dynamical evaluation of liquidity risk and early warning signs of market instabilities, and could lead to a quantitative description of the mechanisms leading to market crashes.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Donier & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2015. "Why Do Markets Crash? Bitcoin Data Offers Unprecedented Insights," Post-Print hal-01277584, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01277584
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139356.g006
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.upmc.fr/hal-01277584
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    File URL: http://hal.upmc.fr/hal-01277584/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Ray C. Fair, 2002. "Events That Shook the Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 713-732, October.
    3. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Chapter 1," MPRA Paper 17452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Garman, Mark B & Klass, Michael J, 1980. "On the Estimation of Security Price Volatilities from Historical Data," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 67-78, January.
    5. Nataliya Bershova & Dmitry Rakhlin, 2013. "The non-linear market impact of large trades: evidence from buy-side order flow," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 1759-1778, November.
    6. J. Doyne Farmer & Austin Gerig & Fabrizio Lillo & Henri Waelbroeck, 2011. "How efficiency shapes market impact," Papers 1102.5457, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2013.
    7. P. Weber & B. Rosenow, 2005. "Order book approach to price impact," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 357-364.
    8. Ali, Robleh & Barrdear, John & Clews, Roger & Southgate, James, 2014. "The economics of digital currencies," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 54(3), pages 276-286.
    9. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2005. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 955-980.
    10. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Julien Kockelkoren & Marc Potters, 2006. "Random walks, liquidity molasses and critical response in financial markets," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 115-123.
    11. Esteban Moro & Javier Vicente & Luis G. Moyano & Austin Gerig & J. Doyne Farmer & Gabriella Vaglica & Fabrizio Lillo & Rosario N. Mantegna, 2009. "Market impact and trading profile of large trading orders in stock markets," Papers 0908.0202, arXiv.org.
    12. Iacopo Mastromatteo & Bence Toth & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2013. "Agent-based models for latent liquidity and concave price impact," Papers 1311.6262, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2014.
    13. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Armand Joulin & Augustin Lefevre & Daniel Grunberg & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2008. "Stock price jumps: news and volume play a minor role," Papers 0803.1769, arXiv.org.
    15. J. Doyne Farmer & Austin Gerig & Fabrizio Lillo & Henri Waelbroeck, 2013. "How efficiency shapes market impact," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 1743-1758, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zura Kakushadze & Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, 2018. "CryptoRuble: From Russia with Love," Papers 1801.05760, arXiv.org.
    2. Stjepan Beguv{s}i'c & Zvonko Kostanjv{c}ar & H. Eugene Stanley & Boris Podobnik, 2018. "Scaling properties of extreme price fluctuations in Bitcoin markets," Papers 1803.08405, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial markets; Fluid flow; Control theory; Economics;

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