An empirical analysis of the impact of the credit default swap index market on large complex financial institutions

Giovanni Calice, Christos Ioannidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper contributes to the primarily empirical literature by conducting the first extensive empirical analysis of the impact of the degree of co-movement in the main standardized credit default swap (CDS) indices on the group of large complex financial institutions (LCFIs). We attempt to account for the dynamics between banks' equity returns and most liquid CDS market indices, the investment grade 5-year CDX North America and the investment grade 5-year iTraxx Europe, through conditioning our analysis on the historical correlation between the variables. Our most important findings are threefold. First, we find that equity returns for all the LCFIs are negatively correlated to both the CDX and the iTraxx indices. Second, the CDX index is the dominant factor driving shocks across all the LCFIs and this effect is stronger for European than US banks. Third, the impact of CDS market volatility on the equity return volatility of LCFIs appears very pronounced, suggesting a transmission mechanism which results in the destabilisation of banks and a subsequent increase in their default risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Empirical analysis
Financial institutions
Credit default swaps
Market index
Equity returns
Comovement
Conditioning
Return volatility
Default risk
Factors
Transmission mechanism
Market volatility

Keywords

  • credit default swap index
  • CDX
  • iTraxx
  • large complex financial institutions
  • financial stability

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper contributes to the primarily empirical literature by conducting the first extensive empirical analysis of the impact of the degree of co-movement in the main standardized credit default swap (CDS) indices on the group of large complex financial institutions (LCFIs). We attempt to account for the dynamics between banks' equity returns and most liquid CDS market indices, the investment grade 5-year CDX North America and the investment grade 5-year iTraxx Europe, through conditioning our analysis on the historical correlation between the variables. Our most important findings are threefold. First, we find that equity returns for all the LCFIs are negatively correlated to both the CDX and the iTraxx indices. Second, the CDX index is the dominant factor driving shocks across all the LCFIs and this effect is stronger for European than US banks. Third, the impact of CDS market volatility on the equity return volatility of LCFIs appears very pronounced, suggesting a transmission mechanism which results in the destabilisation of banks and a subsequent increase in their default risk.",
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