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Capital and Contagion in Financial Networks

  • di Iasio, Giovanni
  • Battiston, Stefano
  • Infante, Luigi
  • Pierobon, Federico

We implement a novel method to detect systemically important financial institutions in a network. The method consists in a simple model of distress and losses redistribution derived from the interaction of banks' balance-sheets through bilateral exposures. The algorithm goes beyond the traditional default-cascade mechanism, according to which contagion propagates only through banks that actually default. We argue that even in the absence of other defaults, distressed-but-non-defaulting institutions transmit the contagion through channels other than solvency: weakness in their balance sheet reduces the value of their liabilities, thereby negatively affecting their interbank lenders even before a credit event occurs. In this paper, we apply the methodology to a unique dataset covering bilateral exposures among all Italian banks in the period 2008-2012. We find that the systemic impact of individual banks has decreased over time since 2008. The result can be traced back to decreasing volumes in the interbank market and to an intense recapitalization process. We show that the marginal effect of a bank's capital on its contribution to systemic risk in the network is considerably larger when interconnectedness is high (good times): this finding supports the regulatory work on counter-cyclical (macroprudential) capital buffers.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52141.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52141
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Alp Simsek, 2009. "Fire Sales in a Model of Complexity," NBER Working Papers 15479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rodrigo Cifuentes & Hyun Song Shin & Gianluigi Ferrucci, 2005. "Liquidity Risk and Contagion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 556-566, 04/05.
  3. Viral V. Acharya & Ouarda Merrouche, 2013. "Precautionary Hoarding of Liquidity and Interbank Markets: Evidence from the Subprime Crisis," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 107-160.
  4. Leonardo Bargigli & Giovanni di Iasio & Luigi Infante & Fabrizio Lillo & Federico Pierobon, 2013. "The multiplex structure of interbank networks," Papers 1311.4798, arXiv.org.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2015. "Systemic Risk and Stability in Financial Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 564-608, February.
  6. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2007. "Assessing financial contagion in the interbank market: Maximum entropy versus observed interbank lending patterns," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 641, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Viral V. Acharya, 2010. "Measuring systemic risk," Proceedings 1140, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Furfine, Craig H, 2003. " Interbank Exposures: Quantifying the Risk of Contagion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 111-28, February.
  9. Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2011. "Fire Sales in Finance and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 29-48, Winter.
  10. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 388-92, May.
  11. Nikola Tarashev & Mathias Drehmann, 2011. "Measuring the systemic importance of interconnected banks," BIS Working Papers 342, Bank for International Settlements.
  12. Viral V. Acharya & Lasse H. Pedersen & Thomas Philippon & Matthew Richardson, 2010. "Measuring systemic risk," Working Paper 1002, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  13. repec:fip:fedhpr:y:2010:i:may:p:65-71 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Michael Boss & Martin Summer & Stefan Thurner, 2004. "Contagion Flow Through Banking Networks," Papers cond-mat/0403167, arXiv.org.
  15. Gai, Prasanna & Kapadia, Sujit, 2010. "Contagion in financial networks," Bank of England working papers 383, Bank of England.
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