DP15097 Bank-Intermediated Arbitrage

Author(s): Nina Boyarchenko, Thomas Eisenbach, Pooja Gupta, Or Shachar, Peter Van Tassel
Publication Date: July 2020
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Programme Areas: Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15097

We argue that post-crisis banking regulations pass through from regulated institutions to unregulated arbitrageurs. We document that, once post-crisis regulations bind post 2014, hedge funds use a larger number of prime brokers, diversify away from G-SIB affiliated prime brokers, and that the match to such prime brokers is more fragile. Tighter regulatory constraints disincentivize regulated institutions not only to engage in arbitrage activity themselves but also to provide leverage to other arbitrageurs. Indeed, we show that the maximum leverage allowed and the implied return on basis trades is considerably lower under post-crisis regulation, in spite of persistently wider spreads.