Financial Network Games

by   Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, et al.

We study financial systems from a game-theoretic standpoint. A financial system is represented by a network, where nodes correspond to firms, and directed labeled edges correspond to debt contracts between them. The existence of cycles in the network indicates that a payment of a firm to one of its lenders might result to some incoming payment. So, if a firm cannot fully repay its debt, then the exact (partial) payments it makes to each of its creditors can affect the cash inflow back to itself. We naturally assume that the firms are interested in their financial well-being (utility) which is aligned with the amount of incoming payments they receive from the network. This defines a game among the firms, that can be seen as utility-maximizing agents who can strategize over their payments. We are the first to study financial network games that arise under a natural set of payment strategies called priority-proportional payments. We investigate the existence and (in)efficiency of equilibrium strategies, under different assumptions on how the firms' utility is defined, on the types of debt contracts allowed between the firms, and on the presence of other financial features that commonly arise in practice. Surprisingly, even if all firms' strategies are fixed, the existence of a unique payment profile is not guaranteed. So, we also investigate the existence and computation of valid payment profiles for fixed payment strategies.


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