Clearing, Counterparty Risk and Aggregate Risk

49 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2012

See all articles by Bruno Biais

Bruno Biais

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Florian Heider

European Central Bank (ECB); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Marie Hoerova

European Central Bank (ECB); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 2012

Abstract

We study the optimal design of clearing systems. We analyze how counterparty risk should be allocated, whether traders should be fully insured against that risk, and how moral hazard affects the optimal allocation of risk. The main advantage of centralized clearing, as opposed to no or decentralized clearing, is the mutualization of risk. While mutualization fully insures idiosyncratic risk, it cannot provide insurance against aggregate risk. When the latter is significant, it is efficient that protection buyers exert effort to find robust counterparties, whose low default risk makes it possible for the clearing system to withstand aggregate shocks. When this effort is unobservable, incentive compatibility requires that protection buyers retain some exposure to counterparty risk even with centralized clearing.

Keywords: Risk-sharing, moral hazard, optimal contracting, counterparty risk, central clearing counterparty, mutualization, aggregate and idiosyncratic risk

JEL Classification: G22, G28, D82

Suggested Citation

Biais, Bruno and Heider, Florian and Hoerova, Marie, Clearing, Counterparty Risk and Aggregate Risk (October 2012). ECB Working Paper No. 1481. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2150295

Bruno Biais (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Florian Heider

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/florianheider2/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Marie Hoerova

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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