Privately Versus Publicly Optimal Skin in the Game: Optimal Mechanism and Security Design

52 Pages Posted: 26 May 2011

See all articles by Gilles Chemla

Gilles Chemla

Imperial College Business School; CNRS ; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Chris Hennessy

London Business School

Date Written: May 2011

Abstract

We examine screening incentives, welfare and the case for mandatory skin-in-the-game. Ex ante banks can screen, using interim private information to choose retentions and structuring. Ex post speculators trade with rational hedging investors. Absent regulation, there is a separating equilibrium with voluntary retentions. If funding value is high, banks may instead originate-to-distribute (OTD), selling the entire asset in opaque form, deterring informed speculation and destroying screening incentives. Under weaker conditions, banks instead sell the asset in transparent form, using tranching to increase hedging demand, informed speculation and price informativeness. With sufficient informed speculation, transparent OTD actually creates stronger screening incentives than voluntary retentions. In all unregulated market equilibria, interim adverse selection reduces screening incentives, so mandated retentions potentially increase welfare. To induce screening via pooling, banks should be required to retain a uniform junior tranche size which decreases in informational efficiency. However, uniform retention mandates may not be optimal. To improve risk-sharing, screening can instead be induced via separating contracts by compelling banks to choose from a menu of junior tranche retention sizes. In either case, efficiency of risk-sharing is maximized by splitting marketed claims into safe senior and risky mezzanine tranches. Finally, the separating (pooling) regulatory regime generally leads to higher welfare if efficient risk-sharing (bank investment scale) is the dominant consideration, and is always optimal in informationally inefficient markets.

Keywords: adverse selection, originate to distribute, screening incentives, securitization, skin in the game, speculator, uninformed investors

JEL Classification: D82, G21, G32, G38, L51

Suggested Citation

Chemla, Gilles and Hennessy, Christopher, Privately Versus Publicly Optimal Skin in the Game: Optimal Mechanism and Security Design (May 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8403. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1853132

Gilles Chemla (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
+44 207 594 9161 (Phone)
+44 207 594 9210 (Fax)

CNRS ( email )

Dauphine Recherches en Management
Place du Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris, 75016
France
331 44054970 (Phone)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Christopher Hennessy

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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