Report

Systemic Risk in the Financial System: Insights from Network Science

  • October 21, 2009

Systemic Risk in the Financial System: Insights from Network Science looks at systemic risk from the perspective of network structure, and the connectivity links between actors in the financial system.  It notes that network structure may have played a role in the financial crisis in three important ways:  that financial markets may have lacked robustness; that the pattern of network links may have made the system subject to contagion; and that a lack of diversity in networks may have impaired their resilience, or ability to adapt.

Hammond notes that comprehensive efforts to understand systemic risk and undertake reform of the financial system should focus not only on financial actors themselves, but also on the ways in which they are connected. The structure of financial networks shapes the systems' dynamics in important ways, and understanding this structure can provide insights into how to prevent future crises.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the main Pew Financial Reform page.