Convective Risk Flows in Commodity Futures Markets
This paper analyzes the joint responses of commodity futures prices and traders’ futures positions to changes in the VIX before and after the recent financial crisis. We find that while financial traders accommodate the needs of commercial hedgers in normal times, in times of distress, financial traders reduce their net long positions in response to an increase in the VIX causing the risk to flow to commercial hedgers. By exploiting a cross-section of traders, we provide micro-level evidence for a convective flow of risk from distressed financial traders to the ultimate producers of commodities in the real economy.
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