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Network Structure and Systemic Risk in Banking Systems

Rama Cont

Imperial College London; CNRS

Amal Moussa

Columbia University

Edson Bastos e Santos

Central Bank of Brazil

December 1, 2010

We present a quantitative methodology for analyzing the potential for contagion and systemic risk in a network of interlinked financial institutions, using a metric for the systemic importance of institutions: the Contagion Index. We apply this methodology to a data set of mutual exposures and capital levels of financial institutions in Brazil in 2007 and 2008, and analyze the role of balance sheet size and network structure in each institution's contribution to systemic risk. Our results emphasize the contribution of heterogeneity in network structure and concentration of counterparty exposures to a given institution in explaining its systemic importance. These observations plead for capital requirements which depend on exposures, rather than aggregate balance sheet size, and which target systemically important institutions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: systemic risk, default contagion, network models, macro-prudential regulation, insolvency, bank regulation

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Date posted: February 2, 2011 ; Last revised: April 25, 2012

Suggested Citation

Cont, Rama and Moussa, Amal and Santos, Edson Bastos e, Network Structure and Systemic Risk in Banking Systems (December 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1733528 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1733528

Contact Information

Rama Cont (Contact Author)
Imperial College London ( email )
London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.cont
CNRS ( email )
Laboratoire de Probabilites & Modeles aleatoires
Universite Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris VI)
Paris, 75252
HOME PAGE: http://www.proba.jussieu.fr/pageperso/ramacont/
Amal Moussa
Columbia University ( email )
Mail Code 4403
New York, NY 10027
United States
Edson Bastos e Santos
Central Bank of Brazil ( email )
P.O. Box 08670
SBS Quadra 3 Bloco B - Edificio-Sede
Brasilia, Distr. Federal 70074-900
Feedback to SSRN

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