Competition and Information Leakage

Joshua Mollner Markus Baldauf - May 17, 2024

Working Paper No.  00096-01

When seeking to trade in over-the-counter markets, institutional investors typically restrict both the number of potential counterparties they contact and the information they disclose (e.g., by requesting two-sided rather than one-sided quotes). We rationalize these important facts in a model featuring endogenous front-running. Although an additional contact intensifies competition and aids in finding a natural counterparty, it also intensifies information leakage—which can be costly if it helps a losing dealer to front-run. We also address information design: the client optimally provides no information about her trading direction when requesting quotes. We conclude with implications for market design and regulation.

Published:Journal of Political Economy,2024,132(5),1603-1641

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delegation counterparty search over-the-counter (OTC) markets request for quotes (RFQ) information design price impact front-running trading platform design

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Competition and Information Leakage