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The Vulnerability of Banks to Government Default Risk in the EMU

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  • Arnold, Ivo
  • Lemmen, Jan

Abstract

This paper examines the vulnerability of banks in EMU countries to shocks to default risk premiums on public debt. This vulnerability depends on the total amount of public debt in bank portfolios, the degree of geographical diversification of public debt holdings by banks, and the extent to which the default risk of EMU governments is diversifiable. We calculate the effect of country-specific default shocks on the public debt portfolios of banks. The calculations are based on data of public debt positions at the aggregate banking sector level and take into account the historical covariance structure of default risk premiums in the EMU. We compare the following scenarios. First, we calculate the effect on the standard deviation of the capital-to-assets ratio if banks continue to hold mainly domestic public debt. Next, we calculate this effect if banks diversify their investments in public debt. We find that the standard deviation of the capital-to-assets ratio can decline considerably if banks diversify their public debt holdings. We close with some implications for prudential regulation. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Finance.

Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 101-25

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Handle: RePEc:bla:intfin:v:4:y:2001:i:1:p:101-25

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Cited by:
  1. Bernoth, Kerstin & von Hagen, Jürgen & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2004. "Sovereign risk premia in the European government bond market," Working Paper Series 0369, European Central Bank.
  2. Jacek Rostowski, 2004. "The Stability and Growth Pact - Essential and Unfeasible," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0275, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Marta Gómez-Puig, 2005. "Monetary Integration And The Cost Of Borrowing," Working Papers 05-05, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
  4. Bernoth, Kerstin & Hagen, Jürgen von & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2006. "Sovereign Risk Premiums in the European Government Bond Market," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 151, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Philipp Paulus, 2006. "Brüssel, Frankfurt oder Basel - Wo muss das Problem steigender Staatsschulden in der Europäischen Währungsunion gelöst werden?," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 01/2006, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.
  6. Buti, Marco & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Franco, Daniele, 2003. "Revisiting the Stability and Growth Pact: Grand Design or Internal Adjustment?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3692, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Roel Beetsma & Koen Vermeylen, 2005. "The Effect of Monetary Unification on Public Debt and its Real Return," CESifo Working Paper Series 1400, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Arnold, Ivo J.M., 2012. "Sovereign debt exposures and banking risks in the current EU financial crisis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 906-920.
  9. Samir Jahjah, 2001. "Financial Stability and Fiscal Crises in a Monetary Union," IMF Working Papers 01/201, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Ullrich, Katrin, 2006. "Market discipline and the use of government bonds as collateral in the EMU," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-46, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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