53 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2014 Last revised: 28 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 27, 2016
Short lived arbitrage opportunities arise when prices adjust with a lag to new information. They are toxic because they expose dealers to the risk of trading at stale quotes. Hence, theory implies that more frequent toxic arbitrage opportunities and a faster arbitrageurs' response to these should impair liquidity. We provide supporting evidence using data on triangular arbitrage. As predicted, illiquidity is higher on days when the fraction of toxic arbitrage opportunities and arbitrageurs' relative speed are higher. Overall, our findings suggest that the price efficiency gain of high frequency arbitrage comes at the cost of increased adverse selection risk.
Keywords: Arbitrage, Liquidity, Adverse Selection, High Frequency Trading
JEL Classification: D50, F31, G10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Foucault, Thierry and Kozhan, Roman and Tham, Wing Wah, Toxic Arbitrage (September 27, 2016). HEC Paris Research Paper No. FIN-2014-1040. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2409054 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2409054