Interbank Contagion: An Agent-Based Model (ABM) Approach to Endogenously Formed Networks
40 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 10 Jan 2017
Date Written: November 10, 2016
The potential impact of interconnected financial institutions on interbank financial systems is a financial stability concern for central banks and regulators. A number of algorithms/methods have been developed to extrapolate latent interbank risk exposures. However, most use highly stylized network models and reconstruction methods with global optimality lending allocation approaches such as maximizing entropy or minimizing costs. This paper argues that U.S. bank lending and borrowing decisions are largely suboptimal and performance-driven. We present an agent-based model to endogenously reconstruct interbank networks based on 6,600 banks' decision rules and behaviors reflected in quarterly balance sheets. The model formulation reproduces dynamics similar to those of the 2007-09 financial crisis and shows how bank losses and failures arise from network contagion and lending market illiquidity. When calibrated to post-crisis data from 2011-14, the model shows the banking system has reduced its likelihood of bank failures through network contagion and illiquidity, given a similar stress scenario.
Keywords: Interbank lending market, Agent-based simulation, Contagion risk, Network topology, Financial crisis
JEL Classification: C63, G01, G17, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation