Repos, fire sales, and bankruptcy policy

G. Antinolfi, F. Carapella, C. Kahn, A. Martin, D. C. Mills, E. Nosal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies the optimal bankruptcy policy for repurchase agreements (repos) with respect to their exemption from the automatic stay of bankruptcy. The exemption from automatic stay has been one of the key contributors to the development of the repo market as a major source of funding for many financial market participants. At the same time the exemption has raised concerns that the default of a large institution could cause externalities on other markets, in the form of fire sales. We find that exempting repos from the automatic stay may increase the size of the repo market by enhancing the liquidity of collateral, but it can cause fire sales that are associated with reductions in real investment. Hence, policy makers face a trade-off between the benefits of investment activity and the benefits of liquid repo markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Bankruptcy
  • Fire sales
  • Repos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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