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The Life Insurance Industry and Systemic Risk: A Bond Market Perspective
The 2008 financial crisis brought a focus on the potential for a large insurance firm to contribute to systemic risk. Among the concerns raised was that a negative shock to insurers could lead to a ?fire sale? of corporate bonds, a market where insurers are among the largest participants. This paper discusses the existing evidence on life insurance firms and systemic risk, with a focus on the investment grade corporate bond market. We provide some tentative evidence that life insurers tend to absorb liquidity risk by purchasing bonds when the bonds are less liquid than average. However, we do ...
How Liquid Is the Inflation Swap Market?
Inflation swaps are used to transfer inflation risk and make inferences about the future course of inflation. Despite the importance of this market to inflation hedgers, inflation speculators, and policymakers, there is little evidence on its liquidity. Based on an analysis of new and detailed data in this post we show that the market appears reasonably liquid and transparent despite low trading activity, likely reflecting the high liquidity of related markets for inflation risk. In a previous post, we examined similar issues for the broader interest rate derivatives market.