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Determinants of US financial fragility conditions


  • Fabio C. Bagliano

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

  • Claudio Morana

    () (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)


The recent financial crisis has highlighted the fragility of the US (and other countries') financial system under several respects. In this paper, the properties of a summary index of financial fragility, obtained by combining information conveyed by the "Agency", "Ted" and "BAA-AAA" spreads, timely capturing changes in credit and liquidity risk, distress in the mortgage market, and corporate default risk, are investigated over the 1986-2010 period. The empirical results show that observed fluctuations in the financial fragility index can be attributed to identified (global and domestic) macroeconomic (20%) and financial disturbances (40% to 50%), over both short- and long-term horizons, as well as to oil-supply shocks in the long-term (25%). The investigation of specific episodes of financial distress, occurred in 1987, 1998 and 2000, and, more recently, over the 2007-2009 period, shows that sizable fluctuations in the index are largely determined by financial shocks, while macroeconomic disturbances have generally had a stabilizing effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio C. Bagliano & Claudio Morana, 2012. "Determinants of US financial fragility conditions," Working papers 011, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  • Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Granger, Clive W. J. & Jeon, Yongil, 2004. "Thick modeling," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 323-343, March.
    2. Claudio Morana, 2013. "The Oil Price-Macroeconomy Relationship Since the Mid-1980s: A Global Perspective," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    3. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    4. Bagliano, Fabio C. & Morana, Claudio, 2012. "The Great Recession: US dynamics and spillovers to the world economy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13.
    5. 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.
    6. Tobias Adrian & Erkko Etula & Tyler Muir, 2014. "Financial Intermediaries and the Cross-Section of Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(6), pages 2557-2596, December.
    7. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    8. Working, Holbrook, 1960. "Speculation on Hedging Markets," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 02, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aboura, Sofiane & Chevallier, Julien, 2016. "Spikes and crashes in the oil market," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 615-623.
    2. Tanha, Hassan & Dempsey, Michael, 2015. "The asymmetric response of volatility to market changes and the volatility smile: Evidence from Australian options," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 164-176.
    3. Derbali, Abdelkader & Hallara, Slaheddine, 2016. "Systemic risk of European financial institutions: Estimation and ranking by the Marginal Expected Shortfall," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 113-134.
    4. Matkovskyy, Roman & Bouraoui, Taoufik & Hammami, Helmi, 2016. "Analysing the financial strength of Tunisia: An approach to estimate an index of financial safety," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 485-493.
    5. Wan, Jer-Yuh & Kao, Chung-Wei, 2015. "Interactions between oil and financial markets — Do conditions of financial stress matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 160-175.
    6. Oet, Mikhail V. & Ong, Stephen J., 2015. "From Organization to Activity in the US Collateralized Interbank Market," Working Paper 1529, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. repec:col:000093:016019 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Claudio Morana, 2013. "Factor Vector Autoregressive Estimation of Heteroskedastic Persistent and Non Persistent Processes Subject to Structural Breaks: New Insights on the US OIS SPreads Term Structure," Working Papers 233, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.

    More about this item


    financial fragility; US; macro-finance interface; international business cycle; factor vector autoregressive models; financial crisis; Great Recession;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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