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Silvia Gabrieli

17 September 2013
Over the past few years the CDS market’s role has evolved from mostly providing default protection towards credit risk trading. The first-ever credit event in a developed country’s sovereign CDS has further highlighted the importance of the CDS market from a macro-prudential perspective. Developments in the European sovereign CDS market are a part of the major structural shift in euro sovereign debt: in the market’s view, there has been a significant shift from sovereign debt as a (default-free) risk-free benchmark (i.e. bearing interest rate risk only) to sovereign debt as a credit risk asset. Therefore, a significant repricing of the entire asset category has taken place, with major implications ranging from asset allocation to risk management. This implies that some policy issues are not necessarily and exclusively related to the CDS market, but are part of broader developments in the EU financial system. This Occasional Paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the CDS market from a macroprudential perspective. In order to so, a wide range of analytical approaches is applied: Structural analysis of the EU CDS market: description of the market structure, key segments, concentration and evolution over time. Network analysis of bilateral CDS exposures: description of the structure and resilience of the network at an aggregate level as well as of sub-samples. In particular, analysis is conducted on: (i) the aggregated CDS network; (ii) various sub-networks, such as the sovereign CDS network; and (iii) networks for particular CDS reference entities. In order to carry out this analysis, we applied the established literature on interbank and payment systems networks to the CDS exposures network. “Super-spreader” analysis: identification of key “too interconnected to fail” market participants, their activities in the CDS market and their risk-bearing capacity. Scenario analysis of sovereign credit risk: the impact of sovereign credit events on the EU banking system and their potential spillovers. Domino effects in the CDS market: estimation of default chain scenarios for major participants in the CDS market; again, following the literature on interbank networks, we analysed the network impact of the collapse of a major market participant. Comparison of market- and exposure-based assessments of contagion: systemic risk rankings based on market price estimates (e.g. CoVaR) are compared with the rankings obtained using confidential DTCC exposure data in order to understand to what extent market participants are aware of who is a systemically relevant trader in the CDS market and whether these measures of systemic risk are consistent.
JEL Code
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G33 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Bankruptcy, Liquidation
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation