Capital constraints, counterparty risk, and deviations from covered interest rate parity

Abstract: We provide robust evidence of a deviation in the covered interest rate parity (CIP) relation since the onset of the financial crisis in August 2007. The CIP deviation exists with respect to several different dollar-denominated interest rates and exchange rate pairings of the dollar vis-a-vis other currencies. The results show that our proxies for margin conditions and for the cost of capital are significant determinants of the CIP deviations, especially during the crisis period. The supply of dollars by the Federal Reserve to foreign central banks via reciprocal currency arrangements (swap lines) reduced CIP deviations at this time. Following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, uncertainty about counterparty risk became a significant determinant of CIP deviations, and the swap lines program no longer affected the CIP deviations significantly. These results indicate a breakdown of arbitrage transactions in the international capital markets that owes partly to lack of capital and partly to heightened counterparty credit risk. Central bank interventions helped reduce the funding liquidity risk of global institutions.

Keywords: Swaps (Finance); Interest rates; Foreign exchange rates; Currency substitution; Banks and banking, Central;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Staff Reports

Publication Date: 2009

Number: 393