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Cross-border Portfolio Investment Networks and Indicators for Financial Crises

Andreas Joseph, Stephan Joseph and Guanrong Chen

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Abstract: Cross-border equity and long-term debt securities portfolio investment networks are analysed from 2002 to 2012, covering the 2008 global financial crisis. They serve as network-proxies for measuring the robustness of the global financial system and the interdependence of financial markets, respectively. Two early-warning indicators for financial crises are identified: First, the algebraic connectivity of the equity securities network, as a measure for structural robustness, drops close to zero already in 2005, while there is an over-representation of high-degree off-shore financial centres among the countries most-related to this observation, suggesting an investigation of such nodes with respect to the structural stability of the global financial system. Second, using a phenomenological model, the edge density of the debt securities network is found to describe, and even forecast, the proliferation of several over-the-counter-traded financial derivatives, most prominently credit default swaps, enabling one to detect potentially dangerous levels of market interdependence and systemic risk.

Date: 2013-06, Revised 2014-01
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Published in Scientific Reports (4), 3991, 2014

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