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The Cross-Section Analysis of Interbank Lending and Borrowing Rates: An Empirical Investigation Using Nonparametric Methods

This paper analyzes the distribution of lending and borrowing credit spreads in the Eu- ropean interbank market conditional on main features of banks such as their size, operating currency and nationality. This is done by means of nonparametric kernel estimation methods for the cross-sectional density of interbank funding rates over a large sample of European banks trading in the e-MID market. The analysis is repeated over consecutive non-overlapping peri- ods in order to assess and compare the effect of the factors during crisis and non-crisis periods.

Diversification and Financial Stability

The recent credit crisis of 2007/08 has raised a debate about the so-called knife-edge properties of financial markets. The paper contributes to the debate shedding light on the controversial relation between risk-diversification and financial stability. We model a financial network where assets held by borrowers to meet their obligations, include claims against other borrowers and securities exogenous to the network. The balance-sheet approach is conjugated with a stochastic setting and by a mean-field approximation the law of motion of the system's fragility is derived.

Market Procyclicality and Systemic Risk

We model the systemic risk associated with the so-called balance-sheet amplification mechanism in a system of banks with interlocked balance sheets and with positions in real-economy-related assets. Our modeling framework integrates a stochastic price dynamics with an active balance-sheet management aimed to maintain the Value-at-Risk at a target level. We find that a strong compliance with capital re- quirements, usually alleged to be procyclical, does not increase systemic risk unless the asset market is illiquid.

Financial Distress Propagation in a Network of Regions

Building on previous works on business fluctuations, we model the propagation of financial distress in a network of regions, each populated by heterogeneous inter- acting firms and banks. In order to diversify risk, firm sell goods outside their own region and borrow from banks located there. However, this results in ties across regions which propagate financial distress across regional borders. We investigate how the average level of economic integration affects the probability of both individual and systemic failures.

Credit default swaps drawup networks: too interconnected to be stable?

We analyse time series of CDS spreads for a set of major US and European institutions on a pe- riod overlapping the recent financial crisis. We extend the existing methodology of ε-drawdowns to the one of joint ε-drawups, in order to estimate the conditional probabilities of abrupt co-movements among spreads. We correct for randomness and for finite size effects and we find significant prob- ability of joint drawups for certain pairs of CDS. We also find significant probability of trend rein- forcement, i.e. drawups in a given CDS followed by drawups in the same CDS.

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