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Persistence and Procyclicality in Margin Requirements

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Glasserman

    () (Office of Financial Research)

  • Qi Wu

    () (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Abstract

Margin requirements for derivative contracts serve as a buffer against the transmission of losses through the financial system by protecting one party to a contract against default by the other party. However, if margin levels are proportional to volatility, then a spike in volatility leads to potentially destabilizing margin calls in times of market stress. Risk-sensitive margin requirements are thus procyclical in the sense that they amplify shocks. We use a GARCH model of volatility and a combination of theoretical and empirical results to analyze how much higher margin levels need to be to avoid procyclicality while reducing counterparty credit risk. Our analysis compares the tail decay of conditional and unconditional loss distributions to compare stable and risk-sensitive margin requirements. Greater persistence and burstiness in volatility leads to a slower decay in the tail of the unconditional distribution and a higher buffer needed to avoid procyclicality. The tail decay drives other measures of procyclicality as well. Our analysis points to important features of price time series that should inform "anti-procyclicality" measures but are missing from current rules.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Glasserman & Qi Wu, 2017. "Persistence and Procyclicality in Margin Requirements," Working Papers 17-01, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:ofr:wpaper:17-01
    as

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    File URL: https://www.financialresearch.gov/working-papers/files/OFRwp-2017-01_Persistence-and-Procyclicality-in-Margin-Requirements.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nelson, Daniel B., 1990. "ARCH models as diffusion approximations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 7-38.
    2. Drost, Feike C & Nijman, Theo E, 1993. "Temporal Aggregation of GARCH Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 909-927, July.
    3. Gorton, Gary & Metrick, Andrew, 2012. "Securitized banking and the run on repo," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 425-451.
    4. Glosten, Lawrence R & Jagannathan, Ravi & Runkle, David E, 1993. " On the Relation between the Expected Value and the Volatility of the Nominal Excess Return on Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1779-1801, December.
    5. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    6. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
    7. Rafael Repullo & Javier Suarez, 2013. "The Procyclical Effects of Bank Capital Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(2), pages 452-490.
    8. Murphy, David & Vasios, Michalis & Vause, Nicholas, 2016. "A comparative analysis of tools to limit the procyclicality of initial margin requirements," Bank of England working papers 597, Bank of England.
    9. Adrian, Tobias & Shin, Hyun Song, 2010. "Liquidity and leverage," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 418-437, July.
    10. Nelson, Daniel B., 1990. "Stationarity and Persistence in the GARCH(1,1) Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 318-334, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Margin Requirements; Derivatives Contracts; Margin Calls; Cycles; Volatility; GARCH; Financial Shocks; Transmission of Losses;

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