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The Mystery of the Printing Press: Self-fulfilling debt crises and monetary sovereignty

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  • Corsetti, Giancarlo
  • Dedola, Luca
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    Abstract

    Building on Calvo (1988), we develop a stochastic monetary economy in which government default may be driven by either self-fulfilling expectations or weak fundamentals, and explore conditions under which central banks can rule out the former. We analyze monetary backstops resting on the ability of the central bank to swap government debt for its monetary liabilities, whose demand is not undermined by fears of default. To be effective, announced interventions must be credible, i.e., feasible and welfare improving. Absent fundamental default risk, a monetary backstop is always effective in preventing self-fulfilling crises. In the presence of fundamental default risk and institutional constraints on the balance sheet of the central bank, a credible monetary backstop is likely to fall short of covering government's financial needs in full. It is thus effective to the extent that it increases the level of debt below which the equilibrium is unique.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9358.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9358

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    Related research

    Keywords: Debt monetization; Lender of last resort; Seigniorage; Sovereign risk and default;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jin Cheng & Meixing Dai & Frédéric Dufourt, 2014. "Banking and Sovereign Debt Crises in a Monetary Union Without Central Bank Intervention," Working Papers halshs-01009684, HAL.
    2. Balteanu, Irina & Erce, Aitor, 2014. "Bank Crises and Sovereign Defaults in Emerging Markets: Exploring the Links," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 184, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Kuester, Keith & Meier, André & Müller, Gernot, 2013. "Sovereign risk and belief-driven fluctuations in the euro area," CEPR Discussion Papers 9723, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Fuertes, Ana-Maria & Kalotychou, Elena & Saka, Orkun, 2014. "ECB Policy and Eurozone Fragility: Was De Grauwe Right?," CEPS Papers 9414, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    5. Saleem Bahaj, 2014. "Systemic Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Implications in the Euro Area," Discussion Papers 1406, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).

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