The excessive increase of leverage, i.e. the abuse of debt financing, is considered one of the primary factors in the default of financial institutions since it amplifies potential investment losses. On the other side, portfolio diversification acts to mitigate these losses.
Systemic risk, here meant as the risk of default of a large portion of the financial system, depends on the network of financial exposures among institutions. However, there is no widely accepted methodology to determine the systemically important nodes in a network.