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Short-sale constraints and efficiency of the spot-futures dynamics

McMillan D & Philip D (2012) Short-sale constraints and efficiency of the spot-futures dynamics. International Review of Financial Analysis, 24, p. 129–136.

This paper studies the spot and futures cross-market efficiency implications of the regulatory short-selling constraints imposed during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. We find that the equilibrium position for the basis during the ban period is below that normally seen, with the spot price higher relative to the futures price. This suggests that holding the spot was more valuable than holding the futures during the ban period. Further, we find that the speed of adjustment has slowed down and in some cases become statistically insignificant, suggesting that arbitrage is less effective during the ban period. The results presented here have implications for regulators and traders regarding the efficiency of these markets during a short-sale ban.

Short-sale constraints; Short-selling; Arbitrage; Mispricing

International Review of Financial Analysis: Volume 24

Author(s)McMillan, David; Philip, Dennis
Publication date30/09/2012
Date accepted by journal06/09/2012
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