Financially Constrained Arbitrage in Illiquid Markets

38 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2001

See all articles by Mukarram Attari

Mukarram Attari

CRA International, Incorporated

Antonio S. Mello

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Finance, Investment and Banking

Date Written: June 18, 2001

Abstract

This paper derives arbitrage trading strategies taking into account the fact that the actions of arbitrageurs impact prices. This avoids the difficulty of having to rely on exogenous position limits to prevent infinite arbitrage profits. When arbitrageurs are financially constrained their trading strategies can be expressed as feedback functions of their capital, which in turn depends on the optimal amount traded. An important component of the trading by financially constrained arbitrageurs is done to guarantee future financial flexibility. It is this hedging component that explains why price deviations persist in spite of arbitrage. Financial constraints are also responsible for periods of excessively volatile prices and for the time variation in the correlation of price deviation across markets. The fact that the actions of regulated firms can influence the dynamics of prices on which minimum capital requirements are based raises important implications for the regulation of securities firms.

JEL Classification: G10, G20

Suggested Citation

Attari, Mukarram and Mello, Antonio S., Financially Constrained Arbitrage in Illiquid Markets (June 18, 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=276284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.276284

Mukarram Attari

CRA International, Incorporated ( email )

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Washington, DC 20004
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617-425-3336 (Phone)

Antonio S. Mello (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Finance, Investment and Banking ( email )

975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-3423 (Phone)
608-265-4195 (Fax)

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