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November 17, 2011

Liquidity Provision and Collateral Haircuts in Payments Systems

Central banks play a pivotal role in well-functioning payments systems by providing liquidity via collateralized lending. This article discusses the role of collateral and haircut policy in central bank lending, as well as the distinguishing features of the central bank’s policy relative to private sector practices. It presents a model that explicitly incorporates the unique role of central banks in the payments system and argues that central banks must consider how their haircut policies affect the relative price and liquidity of assets, the market’s asset allocation, and the likelihood of participants to default. Furthermore, under extraordinary circumstances, there is a rationale for the central bank to temporarily reduce haircuts or broaden the list of eligible collateral to mitigate the shortage of liquidity in the market.

Analyzing Default Risk and Liquidity Demand during a Financial Crisis: The Case of Canada

Staff Working Paper 2011-17 Jason Allen, Ali Hortaçsu, Jakub Kastl
This paper explores the reliability of using prices of credit default swap contracts (CDS) as indicators of default probabilities during the 2007/2008 financial crisis.

Lessons from International Central Counterparties: Benchmarking and Analysis

Staff Discussion Paper 2011-4 Alexandre Lazarow
Since the financial crisis, attention has focused on central counterparties (CCPs) as a solution to systemic risk for a variety of financial markets, ranging from repurchase agreements and options to swaps.
May 19, 2011

Central Bank Collateral Policy: Insights from Recent Experience

The collateral policy of central banks played a critical role during the recent financial crisis, as they worked to bolster liquidity and alleviate the funding pressures facing financial institutions. This article examines central bank collateral policy and discusses three areas in which central banks can use their collateral policy to influence financial market practices: promoting greater transparency for securitized products, improving practices related to credit risk, and reducing procyclicality in the management of market risk.
May 19, 2011

Supplementary article: Paying with Polymer: Developing Canada’s New Bank Notes

In this article, author Charles Spencer reviews the complex process of developing the new series, which represents a dramatic change for Canada. The leading-edge security features made possible by the new substrate, the cost savings of the move to a polymer base and the environmental advantages of the new notes are also examined.

Losses from Simulated Defaults in Canada's Large Value Transfer System

Staff Discussion Paper 2010-14 Nellie Zhang, Tom Hossfeld
The Large Value Transfer System (LVTS) loss-sharing mechanism was designed to ensure that, in the event of a one-participant default, the collateral pledged by direct members of the system would be sufficient to cover the largest possible net debit position of a defaulting participant. However, the situation may not hold if the indirect effects of the defaults are taken into consideration, or if two participants default during the same payment cycle.

Central Bank Haircut Policy

Staff Working Paper 2010-23 James Chapman, Jonathan Chiu, Miguel Molico
We present a model of central bank collateralized lending to study the optimal choice of the haircut policy. We show that a lending facility provides a bundle of two types of insurance: insurance against liquidity risk as well as insurance against downside risk of the collateral.

Estimating the Structure of the Payment Network in the LVTS: An Application of Estimating Communities in Network Data

Staff Working Paper 2010-13 James Chapman, Nellie Zhang
In the Canadian large value payment system an important goal is to understand how liquidity is transferred through the system and hence how efficient the system is in settling payments. Understanding the structure of the underlying network of relationships between participants in the payment system is a crucial step in achieving the goal.
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