Optimal Collateralization with Bilateral Default Risk
54 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 22, 2013
We consider over-the-counter (OTC) transactions with bilateral default risk, and study the optimal design of the Credit Support Annex (CSA). In a setting where agents have access to a trading technology, default penalties and collateral costs arise endogenously as a result of foregone investment opportunities. We show how the optimal CSA trades off the costs of the collateralization procedure against the reduction in exposure to counter-party risk and expected default losses. The results are used to provide insights on the drivers of different collateral rules, including hedging motives, re-hypothecation of collateral, and close-out conventions. We show that standardized collateral rules can have a detrimental impact on risk sharing, which should be taken into account when assessing the merits of standardized vs. bespoke CSAs in non-centrally cleared OTC instruments.
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