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The spread of a financial virus through Europe and beyond

Olena Kostylenko Helena Sofia Rodrigues Delfim F. M. Torres

*Corresponding author: Delfim F. M. Torres delfim@ua.pt


We analyse the importance of international relations between countries on the financial stability. The contagion effect in the network is tested by implementing an epidemiological model, comprising a number of European countries and using bilateral data on foreign claims between them. Banking statistics of consolidated foreign claims on ultimate risk bases, obtained from the Banks of International Settlements, allow us to measure the exposure of contagion spreading from a particular country to the other national banking systems. We show that the financial system of some countries, experiencing the debt crisis, is a source of global systemic risk because they threaten the stability of a larger system, being a global threat to the intoxication of the world economy and resulting in what we call a “financial virus”. Illustrative simulations were done in the NetLogo multi-agent programmable modelling environment and in MATLAB.

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