Systemic risk in derivatives markets: a pilot study using CDS data

Our Financial Stability Papers are designed to develop new insights into risk management, to promote risk reduction policies, to improve financial crisis management planning or to report on aspects of our systemic financial stability work.
Published on 08 July 2016

Financial Stability Paper No. 38
By Robleh Ali, Nick Vause and Filip Zikes

In this paper, we draw on network analysis and a sample of derivatives data from a trade repository to demonstrate how the systemic importance of derivatives market participants may be measured. As trade repository data become more comprehensively available to authorities, the same measures could be applied more broadly. We consider the importance of market participants both to the smooth functioning of derivatives markets and in terms of their potential contribution to financial distress. In relation to market functioning, we study some measures that take into account only immediate counterparty positions and others that consider the whole counterparty network of positions. In some cases, the network of positions beyond immediate counterparties makes a significant difference to the rank ordering of the systemic importance of institutions. This means it is important for authorities responsible for financial stability to have access to data beyond the counterparty positions of institutions in their own jurisdictions. In relation to financial distress, we highlight the importance of identifying institutions which may contribute to liquidity strains, as increasing collateralisation of counterparty exposures will diminish credit risk but could at times sharply raise demand for liquid assets to post as collateral.

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