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The Euro area sovereign debt crisis: safe haven, credit rating agencies and the spread of the fever from Greece, Ireland and Portugal

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  • De Santis, Roberto A.
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    Abstract

    Since the intensification of the crisis in September 2008, all euro area long-term government bond yields relative to the German Bund have been characterised by highly persistent processes with upward trends for countries with weaker fiscal fundamentals. Looking at the daily period 1 September 2008 - 4 August 2011, we find that three factors can explain the recorded developments in sovereign spreads: (i) an aggregate regional risk factor, (ii) the country-specific credit risk and (iii) the spillover effect from Greece. Specifically, higher risk aversion has increased the demand for the Bund and this is behind the pricing of all euro area spreads, including those for Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. Country-specific credit ratings have played a key role in the developments of the spreads for Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Finally, the rating downgrade in Greece has contributed to developments in spreads of countries with weaker fiscal fundamentals: Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Belgium and France. JEL Classification: G15, F36

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1419.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121419

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    Keywords: credit ratings; Sovereign Spreads; spillovers;

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    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2013. "What is the risk of European sovereign debt defaults? Fiscal space, CDS spreads and market pricing of risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 37-59.
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    5. Salvador Barrios & Per Iversen & Magdalena Lewandowska & Ralph Setzer, 2009. "Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 388, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Simone Manganelli & Guido Wolswijk, 2009. "What drives spreads in the euro area government bond market?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 24, pages 191-240, 04.
    7. Schuknecht, Ludger & von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolswijk, Guido, 2010. "Government bond risk premiums in the EU revisited: the impact of the financial crisis," Working Paper Series 1152, European Central Bank.
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    9. António Afonso & Davide Furceri & Pedro Gomes, 2011. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: application to European data," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/14, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
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    12. Lorenzo Codogno & Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2003. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 503-532, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Florence Bouvet & Ryan Brady & Sharmila King, 2013. "Debt Contagion in Europe: A Panel-VAR Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 44, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    2. Beirne, John & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2013. "The pricing of sovereign risk and contagion during the European sovereign debt crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 60-82.
    3. Mark Mink & Jakob de Haan, 2012. "Contagion during the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis," DNB Working Papers 335, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Zalán Kocsis, 2013. "Global, Regional and Country-Specific Components of Financial Market Indicators: An Extraction Method and Applications," MNB Working Papers 2013/3, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
    5. Antonakakis, Nikolaos & Vergos, Konstantinos, 2013. "Sovereign bond yield spillovers in the Euro zone during the financial and debt crisis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 258-272.
    6. Stracca, Livio, 2013. "The global effects of the euro debt crisis," Working Paper Series 1573, European Central Bank.
    7. António Afonso & Michael G. Arghyrou & George Bagdatoglou & Alexandros Kontonikas, 2013. "On the time-varying relationship between EMU sovereign spreads and their determinants," Working Papers 2013_05, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    8. António Afonso & Michael G. Arghyrou & Alexandros Kontonikas, 2012. "The determinants of sovereign bond yield spreads in the EMU," Working Papers 2012_14, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    9. Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo & de Jong, Frank & Widijanto, Daniel, 2013. "Spread the news: The impact of news on the European sovereign bond markets during the crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 83-101.
    10. Tola, Albi & Wälti, Sébastien, 2012. "Deciphering financial contagion in the euro area during the crisis," MPRA Paper 49251, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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