Defaulting firms and systemic risks in financial networks: a normative approach

  • Nicolas Houy
  • Frédéric Jouneau
  • François Le GrandEmail author
Research Article


We study systemic risk in an interbank market, employing an explicit axiomatization inspired by Eisenberg and Noe (Manag Sci 47(2):236–249, 2001) and Rogers and Veraart (Manag Sci 59(4):882–898, 2013). Instead of focusing on a clearing payment scheme, we characterize the smallest (in the sense of inclusion) set of ex post defaulting firms. This novel approach allows us to analyze the normative implications of the Eisenberg–Noe axioms. We first show that the Absolute Priority axiom, which states that defaulting firms must end up with zero net worth, has no impact on minimal default sets. Second, relaxing the Limited Payments axiom, which can be interpreted as allowing a central planner to transfer resources from rich firms to poor, does not further reduce the minimal default sets, although other default sets are possible. Our normative analysis sheds new light on the possible impacts of clearing mechanisms on default outcomes.


Credit risk Systemic risk Clearing system Financial system 

JEL Classification

G21 G32 G33 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LyonLyonFrance
  2. 2.CNRSGATE Lyon Saint-ÉtienneEcullyFrance
  3. 3.Université Lyon 2LyonFrance
  4. 4.Emlyon Business SchoolEcullyFrance
  5. 5.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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