Channels of Contagion in Financial Systems

Speaker: Rama Cont

Date: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

Location: PIMS, University of British Columbia

Conference: The Economics and Mathematics of Systemic Risk and Financial Networks

Subject: Mathematics, Econometrics, Applied Mathematics

Class: Scientific


Understanding the mechanisms underlying systemic risk requires to change the traditional focus of risk modelling and examine the link between the structure of the financial system and its stability, with a focus on contagion mechanisms which may lead to large scale instabilities in the financial system. Some channels of contagion which have played an important role in past crises are: insolvency contagion through counterparty exposures, withdrawal of liquidity in funding channels and price-mediated contagion through fire sales of assets.

We review some recent work on the mechanisms underlying these channels of contagion, with a focus on the nature of the 'network' underlying each contagion mechanism and the implications of these results for the monitoring and regulation of systemic risk. In particular, we will attempt to illustrate the importance of the ineraction between these various channels and how this interaction may undermine regulatory efforts focussed only on a single mechanism.