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How did the Greek credit event impact the credit default swap market?

Grzegorz Halaj (), Tuomas A. Peltonen and Martin Scheicher

Journal of Financial Stability, 2018, vol. 35, issue C, 136-158

Abstract: This paper studies how the Greek sovereign credit event in March 2012 impacted the credit default swap (CDS) market from market-wide and investor behaviour perspectives, using both network tools to a dataset of snapshots of the global bilateral CDS exposures and a panel analysis on CDS spreads. Regarding the CDS spreads, we find very little discernible direct impact of the Greek credit event on CDS spreads overall. This finding provides some further evidence that the Greek credit event was well anticipated by most market participants. However, we find several significant changes in the Greek CDS network structure following the credit event: the number of connections via exposures declined significantly, the directionality of the positions (net long vs net short) of the main groups of market participants reversed, while none of the non-banks returned to trade Greek CDSs until the last observation of dataset (October 2014). Regarding indirect effects to other CDS markets, we find evidence of temporary spill-over effects on CDS reference entities with credit risk associated with the risk of the Greek sovereign. In particular, the market and counterparty structures changed temporarily with all types of traders decreasing their exposures to the EU periphery sovereign reference entities and also changing their trading counterparties, while after some time, the structure of the market returned to a similar one observed before the credit event. Finally, we find some support for the bank-sovereign nexus, as there was a consistent retreat from the CDS exposures on banks in the EU periphery countries, contrary to banks residing in the other EU countries.

Keywords: CDS market; Credit event; Greece; Network analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G14 G23 L14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:35:y:2018:i:c:p:136-158