Credit-Default-Swaps and the 2008 Financial Crisis: An Inquiry into the Underlying Legal Origins and the European Union’s Regulatory Reforms

Zhou, Jie (2015) Credit-Default-Swaps and the 2008 Financial Crisis: An Inquiry into the Underlying Legal Origins and the European Union’s Regulatory Reforms , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Diritto europeo, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7136.
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After the 2008 financial crisis, the financial innovation product Credit-Default-Swap (CDS) was widely blamed as the main cause of this crisis. CDS is one type of over-the-counter (OTC) traded derivatives. Before the crisis, the trading of CDS was very popular among the financial institutions. But meanwhile, excessive speculative CDSs transactions in a legal environment of scant regulation accumulated huge risks in the financial system. This dissertation is divided into three parts. In Part I, we discussed the primers of the CDSs and its market development, then we analyzed in detail the roles CDSs had played in this crisis based on economic studies. It is advanced that CDSs not just promoted the eruption of the crisis in 2007 but also exacerbated it in 2008. In part II, we asked ourselves what are the legal origins of this crisis in relation with CDSs, as we believe that financial instruments could only function, positive or negative, under certain legal institutional environment. After an in-depth inquiry, we observed that at least three traditional legal doctrines were eroded or circumvented by OTC derivatives. It is argued that the malfunction of these doctrines, on the one hand, facilitated the proliferation of speculative CDSs transactions; on the other hand, eroded the original risk-control legal mechanism. Therefore, the 2008 crisis could escalate rapidly into a global financial tsunami, which was out of control of the regulators. In Part III, we focused on the European Union’s regulatory reform towards the OTC derivatives market. In specific, EU introduced mandatory central counterparty clearing obligation for qualified OTC derivatives, and requires that all OTC derivatives shall be reported to a trade repository. It is observable that EU’s approach in re-regulating the derivatives market is different with the traditional administrative regulation, but aiming at constructing a new market infrastructure for OTC derivatives.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Zhou, Jie
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze giuridiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
CDS; OTC derivatives; 2008 financial crisis; systemic risk; counterparty risk speculation; bankruptcy safe harbour; secret lien; EMIR; CCP clearing; trade repository
Data di discussione
3 Giugno 2015

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