Active Risk Management and Banking Stability

44 Pages Posted: 2 May 2012 Last revised: 20 Feb 2013

See all articles by Consuelo Silva Buston

Consuelo Silva Buston

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 26, 2012


This paper analyzes the net impact of two opposing effects of active risk management at banks on their stability: higher risk-taking incentives and better isolation of credit supply from varying economic conditions. We present a model where banks actively manage their portfolio risk by buying and selling credit protection. We show that anticipation of future risk management opportunities allows banks to operate with riskier balance sheets. However, since they are better insulated from shocks than banks without active risk management, they are less prone to failure. Empirical evidence from US bank holding companies broadly supports the theoretical predictions. In particular, we find that active risk management banks were less likely to fail during the crisis of 2007-2009, even though the balance sheet displayed higher risk-taking. These results provide an important message for bank regulation which has mainly focused on balance sheet risks when assessing financial stability.

Keywords: Financial innovations, credit derivatives, financial stability, financial crisis

JEL Classification: G21

Suggested Citation

Silva Buston, Consuelo, Active Risk Management and Banking Stability (April 26, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Consuelo Silva Buston (Contact Author)

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - School of Business ( email )

Vicuna Mackenna 4860

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics