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The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009

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  • Marc Flandreau
  • Juan H. Flores
  • Norbert Gaillard
  • Sebastián Nieto-Parra

Abstract

We provide a comparison of salient organizational features of primary markets for foreign government debt over the very long run. We focus on output, quality control, information provision, competition, pricing, charging, and signaling. We find that the market setup experienced a radical transformation in the recent period, and we interpret this as resulting from the rise of liability insurance provided by rating agencies. Underwriters have given up their former role as gatekeepers of liquidity and certification agencies to become aggressive competitors in a new Speculative Grade market.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Lucrezia Reichlin & Kenneth D. West, 2010. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number reic09-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11906.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11906

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    Cited by:
    1. Vincent Bignon, Marc Flandreau, 2010. "The Economics of Badmouthing: Libel Law and the Underworld of the Financial Press in France before World War I," IHEID Working Papers 15-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    2. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    3. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau & Jacques-Marie Vaslin, 2013. "Waterloo: a Godsend for French Public Finances?," Working Papers CEB 13-028, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Flandreau, Marc & Flores Zendejas, Juan Huitzilihuitl, 2010. "Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark: Relationship banking and conditionality lending in the London market for government debt, 1815-1913," CEPR Discussion Papers 7915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Marc Flandreau & Juan Flores, 2011. "Bondholders vs. bond-sellers? Investment banks and conditionality lending in the London market for foreign government debt, 1815-1913," Working Papers 0002, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    6. Rohan Pitchford & Mark L. J. Wright, 2013. "On the contribution of game theory to the study of sovereign debt and default," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 649-667, WINTER.
    7. Marc Flandreau, Norbert Gaillard, Ugo Panizza, 2009. "Conflicts of Interest, Reputation and the Interwar Debt Crisis: Banksters or Bad Luck?," IHEID Working Papers 02-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Feb 2010.

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