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In Rememberance: World Trade Center (WTC)

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Risk Trading, Network Topology, and Banking Regulation

by Stefan Thurner of Universitšt Wien,
Rudolf Hanel of Universitšt Wien, and
Stefan Pichler of Technische Universitšt Wien

September 25, 2003

Abstract: In the context of understanding the nature of the risk transformation process of the financial system we propose an iterative risk-trading game between several agents who build their trading strategies based on a general utility setting. The game is studied numerically for different network topologies. Consequences of topology are shown for the wealth time-series of agents, for the safety and efficiency of various types of networks. The proposed setup allows an analysis of the effects of different approaches to banking regulation as currently suggested by the Basle Committee of Banking Supervision. We find a phase transition-like phenomenon, where the Basle parameter plays the role of temperature and system safety serves as the order parameter. This result suggests the existence of an optimal regulation parameter. As a consequence a tightening of the current regulatory framework does not necessarily lead to an improvement of the safety of the banking system. Moreover, we show that banking systems with local risk-sharing cooperations have higher global default rates than systems with low cyclicality.

JEL Classification: C73, G28.

PACS: 89.65.Gh, 89.75.Hc, 89.65-s, 02.50.Le, 05.40.-a.

Keywords: theory of insurance, Basle agreement, dynamical games, banking networks.

Published in: Quantitative Finance, Vol. 3, No. 4, (August 2003), pp. 306-319.

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