The Flight from Maturity
Why did the failure of Lehman Brothers make the financial crisis dramatically worse? The financial crisis was a process of a build-up of risk during the crisis prior to the Lehman failure. Market participants tried to preserve an option or exit by shortening maturities – the “flight from maturity”. With increasingly short maturities, lenders created the possibility of fast exit. The failure of Lehman Brothers was the tipping point of this build-up of systemic fragility. We produce a chronology of the crisis which formalizes the dynamics of the crisis. A crisis is a dynamic process in which “tail risk” is endogenous.
You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20027