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The limits of market discipline: proprietary trading and aggregate risk


  • Sylvain Champonnois



Market discipline is the mechanism by which the adjustment of cost of capital to the level of risk feeds into managerial incentives and deters excessive risk-taking. We show that risk-taking by entrepreneurs and demand for risky securities by risk-neutral investors (e.g. fund managers or proprietary traders) are mutually reinforcing. Larger risk-neutral fund managers (relative to risk-averse investors) not only undermine market discipline and lead to more risk-taking, but they also benefit more from the upside of risk and become relatively larger if the project pays out, which leads to even more risk-taking in the next period. The model explains documented features of the business cycle: bubble-like asset prices (procyclical run-up in prices and procyclical underpricing of risk), shorter cycles and countercyclical leverage of the non-financial sector.

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  • Sylvain Champonnois, 2011. "The limits of market discipline: proprietary trading and aggregate risk," 2011 Meeting Papers 1013, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alessandro Barbarino & Boyan Jovanovic, 2007. "Shakeouts And Market Crashes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 385-420, May.
    2. Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008. "A Model of Capital and Crises," NBER Working Papers 14366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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