Vecon Lab Leveraged Asset and Limit Order Market Experiments: Introduction

This program sets up an asset market in which traders are given endowments of cash and asset "shares" with dividends that correspond to consumption values if the asset is house, for example. Cash may be kept in a safe account with a fixed interest rate. Final-period redemption values for the asset may either be known or random. With random redemption values, private information signals about the unknown common redemption value may be given to "insiders." Traders submit buy or sell limit orders that are ranked and "crossed" to determine a uniform market-clearing price. Traders are allowed to buy on margin, by putting up a specified fraction of the purchase price of the shares that they bid for, with the rest being borrowed. Loans are called and the asset must be sold if the market price in the previous period falls enough to wipe out the initial equity provided by the trader at the time of purchase. The instructor may press a Stop Trading button to "call" the market if some traders are inactive.

The interest rate for cash induces a time preference and that determines the fundamental (present) value of a share. Trading prices can be compared with the fundamental values to identify bubbles or crashes driven by expectations and excessive leverage.

Vecon Lab - May 19, 2019