Markose et. al. develop a R-number, well known in the epidemic literature, to measure the tipping point for financial contagion.


Financial economists use market price data and correlations for systemic risk measures that suffer from volatility paradox and also fail to give early warning financial contagion.


We analyse systemic risk in the core global banking system using a new network-based spectral eigen-pair method, which treats network failure as a dynamical system stability problem. This is compared with market price-based Systemic Risk Indexes (SRIs), viz. Marginal Expected Shortfall (MES), Delta Conditional Value-at-Risk (Delta-CoVaR), and Conditional Capital Shortfall Measure of Systemic Risk (SRISK) in a cross-border setting. Unlike paradoxical market price based risk measures, which underestimate risk during periods of asset price booms, the eigen-pair method based on bilateral balance sheet data gives early-warning of instability in terms of the tipping point that is analogous to the R number in epidemic models. For this regulatory capital thresholds are used. Furthermore, network centrality measures identify systemically important and vulnerable banking systems. Market price-based SRIs are contemporaneous with the crisis and they are found to covary with risk measures like VaR and betas.

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