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Hedge Funds as Liquidity Providers: Evidence from the Lehman Bankruptcy


  • George O. Aragon
  • Philip E. Strahan


Using the September 15, 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as an exogenous shock to funding costs, we show that hedge funds act as liquidity providers. Hedge funds using Lehman as prime broker could not trade after the bankruptcy, and these funds failed twice as often as otherwise-similar funds after September 15 (but not before). Stocks traded by the Lehman-connected hedge funds in turn experienced greater declines in market liquidity following the bankruptcy than other stocks; and, the effect was larger for ex ante illiquid stocks. We conclude that shocks to traders' funding liquidity reduce the market liquidity of the assets that they trade.

Suggested Citation

  • George O. Aragon & Philip E. Strahan, 2009. "Hedge Funds as Liquidity Providers: Evidence from the Lehman Bankruptcy," NBER Working Papers 15336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15336
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Acharya, Viral V. & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2005. "Asset pricing with liquidity risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 375-410, August.
    2. Brennan, Michael J. & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1996. "Market microstructure and asset pricing: On the compensation for illiquidity in stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 441-464, July.
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2009. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2201-2238, June.
    4. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Harris, Lawrence E., 1988. "Estimating the components of the bid/ask spread," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 123-142, May.
    5. James Aitken & Manmohan Singh, 2009. "Deleveraging After Lehman; Evidence From Reduced Rehypothecation," IMF Working Papers 09/42, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Tarun Chordia, 2001. "Market Liquidity and Trading Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 501-530, April.
    7. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2003. "Liquidity Risk and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 642-685, June.
    8. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2004. "Hedge Funds and the Technology Bubble," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2013-2040, October.
    9. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-746, June.
    10. Darwin Choi & Mila Getmansky & Brian Henderson & Heather Tookes, 2009. "Convertible Bond Arbitrageurs as Suppliers of Capital," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2365, Yale School of Management, revised 08 Dec 2009.
    11. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Albuquerque, Rui & Schroth, Enrique, 2012. "The Value of Control and the Costs of Illiquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 9090, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Loukianova, A. & Smirnova, E., 2015. "Strategic risk-management with the use of market risk indicator: A comparative longitudinal study in the emerging markets," Working Papers 6430, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    3. Harald HAU & Sandy LAI, "undated". "The Role of Equity Funds in the Financial Crisis Propagation," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 11-35, Swiss Finance Institute.
    4. Longstaff, Francis A., 2010. "The subprime credit crisis and contagion in financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 436-450, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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