Leaning Against the Wind
67 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008
Date Written: February 2005
During financial disruptions, market makers provide liquidity by absorbing external selling pressure. They buy when the pressure is large, accumulate inventories, and sell when the pressure alleviates. This paper studies optimal dynamic liquidity provision in a theoretical market setting with large and temporary selling pressure, and order-execution delays. I show that competitive market makers offer the socially optimal amount of liquidity, provided they have access to sufficient capital. If raising capital is costly, this suggests a policy role for lenient central bank lending during financial disruptions.
Keywords: Market making capital, market maker inventory management
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