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Gabriele Torri

15 December 2020
Systemic risk in the banking sector is usually associated with long periods of economic downturn and very large social costs. On one hand, shocks coming from correlated exposures towards the real economy may induce correlation in banks' default probabilities thereby increasing the likelihood for systemic-tail events like the 2008 Great Financial Crisis. On the other hand, financial contagion also plays an important role in generating large-scale market failures, amplifying the initial shocks coming from the real economy. To study the sources of these rare phenomena, we propose a new definition of systemic risk (i.e. the probability of a large number of banks going into distress simultaneously) and thus we develop a multilayer microstructural model to study empirically the determinants of systemic risk. The model is then calibrated on the most comprehensive granular dataset for the euro area banking sector, capturing roughly 96% or EUR 23.2 trillion of euro area banks' total assets over the period 2014-2018. The output of the model decompose and quantify the sources of systemic risk showing that correlated economic shocks, financial contagion mechanisms, and their interaction are the main sources of systemic events. The results obtained with the simulation engine resemble common market-based systemic risk indicators and empirically corroborate findings from existing literature. This framework gives regulators and central bankers a tool to study systemic risk and its developments, pointing out that systemic events and banks’ idiosyncratic defaults have different drivers, hence implying different policy responses.
JEL Code
D85 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Network Formation and Analysis: Theory
G17 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Financial Forecasting and Simulation
G33 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Bankruptcy, Liquidation
L14 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Transactional Relationships, Contracts and Reputation, Networks
29 May 2019
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2019
The financial system can become more vulnerable to systemic banking crises as the potential for contagion across financial institutions increases. This contagion risk could arise because of shifts in the interlinkages between financial institutions, including the volume and complexity of contracts between them, and because of shifts in the economic risks to which they are commonly exposed. Analysis of the euro area banking system’s interlinkages, using the newly available large exposure data, suggests that the system could be more vulnerable to financial contagion through long-term interbank exposures than noted in other studies. That said, common exposures to the real economy – a standard contagion channel in the literature – represent a potential source of individual bank distress and non-systemic events. This analysis also provides an insight into the changes in contagion risk in the system over time, helping us to interpret changes in market indicators of systemic risk, such as aggregated credit default swap (CDS) prices.