A New Approach to Measuring Systemic Risk: Option-implied Tail Risk Dependencies in the Financial Sector

Project Start:11/2012
Category: Financial Intermediation, Systemic Risk Lab
Funded by:LOEWE

Several years after the beginning of the recent financial crisis, there is now a widespread consensus that, so far, regulation has focused too heavily on the individual risks of financial companies and has failed to address the interconnectedness in the financial sector. From a supervisory point of view it is, thus, essential to gain an understanding of how institutions behave in adverse market environments in order to properly monitor, regulate and, where necessary, support them.

In this project, we take a novel approach on how to measure systemic risk. Along the lines of the existing research on systemic risk, we explore the interaction between tail risk measures for individual companies and the broader financial sector itself. We use a value-at-risk (VaR) approach, however, in contrast to the existing literature, we do not estimate the VaR from past historical equity data but directly observe the VaR implied in equity option quotes.

After having obtained the option-implied VaRs of a broad range of US financial institutions, we run several rounds of parametric and non-parametric panel regressions in order to estimate the spillover in the financial sector and, thus, the systemic relevance of individual institutions.


Key Findings

− The systemic risk profile of an institution increases with its size, with higher leverage, lower market-to-book valuation, lower return on equity and a riskier balance sheet composition.

− Size and a low market-to-book ratio appear to be the dominant factors for a company's negative influence on the financial sector.

− Negative shocks to the financial sector have larger effects on highly leveraged firms with a low market-to-book valuation, low earnings and a riskier balance sheet composition as measured by a high maturity mismatch and high shares of level-3 assets.

− Our results highlight the importance of an appropriate identification scheme in order to correctly distinguish and quantify a company's systemic risk dependence and its contributions to systemic risk.


Related Published Papers

Author/sTitleYearProgram AreaKeywords
Florian Hett, Alexander SchmidtBank Rescues and Bailout Expectations: The Erosion of Market Discipline During the Financial Crisis
Journal of Financial Economics
2017 Financial Intermediation, Systemic Risk Lab Bailout, Implicit Guarantees, Too-Big-To-Fail, Market Discipline

Related Working Papers

No.Author/sTitleYearProgram AreaKeywords
25Alexander SchmidtSystemic Risk in the Financial Sector: What Can We Learn from Option Markets?2013 Financial Intermediation, Systemic Risk Lab Systemic risk, Value-at-risk, Equity options, Implied volatility