IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v11y2019i4p346-79.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Invisible Hand of the Government: Moral Suasion during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Steven Ongena
  • Alexander Popov
  • Neeltje Van Horen

Abstract

Using proprietary data on banks' monthly securities holdings, we show that during the European sovereign debt crisis, domestic banks in fiscally stressed countries were considerably more likely than foreign banks to increase their holdings of domestic sovereign bonds during months when the government needed to roll over a relatively large amount of maturing debt. This result cannot be explained by risk shifting, carry trading, or regulatory compliance. Domestic banks that received government support, are small, or with weaker balance sheets were particularly susceptible to "moral suasion," while governance of banks played less of a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Ongena & Alexander Popov & Neeltje Van Horen, 2019. "The Invisible Hand of the Government: Moral Suasion during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 346-379, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:11:y:2019:i:4:p:346-79
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20160377
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160377
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160377.data
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/mac.20160377.ds
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Micco, Alejandro & Panizza, Ugo & Yanez, Monica, 2007. "Bank ownership and performance. Does politics matter?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-241, January.
    2. Stijn Claessens & Neeltje van Horen, 2015. "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Banking Globalization," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 63(4), pages 868-918, November.
    3. Viral V Acharya & Tim Eisert & Christian Eufinger & Christian Hirsch, 2018. "Real Effects of the Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe: Evidence from Syndicated Loans," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(8), pages 2855-2896.
    4. Giannetti, Mariassunta & Laeven, Luc, 2012. "The flight home effect: Evidence from the syndicated loan market during financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 23-43.
    5. Viral Acharya & Itamar Drechsler & Philipp Schnabl, 2014. "A Pyrrhic Victory? Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(6), pages 2689-2739, December.
    6. Broner, Fernando & Erce, Aitor & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2014. "Sovereign debt markets in turbulent times: Creditor discrimination and crowding-out effects," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-142.
    7. Harald Uhlig, 2014. "Sovereign Default Risk and Banks in a Monetary Union," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 15(1), pages 23-41, February.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia1, 2015. "The liquidation of government debt," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(82), pages 291-333.
    9. Gennaioli, Nicola & Martin, Alberto & Rossi, Stefano, 2018. "Banks, government Bonds, and Default: What do the data Say?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 98-113.
    10. Carlo Altavilla & Marco Pagano & Saverio Simonelli, 2017. "Bank Exposures and Sovereign Stress Transmission," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(6), pages 2103-2139.
    11. Sapienza, Paola, 2004. "The effects of government ownership on bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 357-384, May.
    12. Charles W. Calomiris & Stephen H. Haber, 2015. "Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10177-2.
    13. Horváth, Bálint & Huizinga, Harry & Ioannidou, Vasso, 2015. "Determinants and Valuation Effects of the Home Bias in European Banks' Sovereign Debt Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 10661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Niccolò Battistini & Marco Pagano & Saverio Simonelli, 2014. "Systemic risk, sovereign yields and bank exposures in the euro crisis [Real effects of the sovereign debt crises in Europe: evidence from syndicated loans]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(78), pages 203-251.
    15. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 1999. "Home Bias at Home: Local Equity Preference in Domestic Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2045-2073, December.
    16. Alexander W. Butler, 2008. "Distance Still Matters: Evidence from Municipal Bond Underwriting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 763-784, April.
    17. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2001. "The Geography of Investment: Informed Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 811-841, August.
    18. Grinblatt, Mark & Keloharju, Matti, 2000. "The investment behavior and performance of various investor types: a study of Finland's unique data set," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-67, January.
    19. Shen, Chung-Hua & Lin, Chih-Yung, 2012. "Why government banks underperform: A political interference view," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 181-202.
    20. Craig O. Brown & I. Serdar Dinç, 2005. "The Politics of Bank Failures: Evidence from Emerging Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1413-1444.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Koetter, Michael & Popov, Alexander, 2018. "Politics, banks, and sub-sovereign debt: unholy trinity or divine coincidence?," Working Paper Series 2146, European Central Bank.
    2. Saka, Orkun, 2019. "Domestic banks as lightning rods? Home bias and information during Eurozone crisis," Research Discussion Papers 3/2019, Bank of Finland.
    3. Carlo Altavilla & Marco Pagano & Saverio Simonelli, 2017. "Bank Exposures and Sovereign Stress Transmission," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(6), pages 2103-2139.
    4. Orkun Saka, 2019. "Domestic Banks as Lightning Rods? Home Bias and Information during the Eurozone Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 7939, CESifo.
    5. Dimitris K. Chronopoulos & George Dotsis & Nikolaos T. Milonas, 2020. "International Evidence on the Determinants of Domestic Sovereign Debt Bank Holdings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 143-160, December.
    6. Orkun Saka, 2020. "Domestic Banks As Lightning Rods? Home Bias and Information during the Eurozone Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(S1), pages 273-305, October.
    7. Filippo De Marco & Marco Macchiavelli, 2016. "The Political Origin of Home Bias: The Case of Europe," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-060, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Burietz, A. & Ureche-Rangau, L., 2020. "Better the devil you know: Home and sectoral biases in bank lending," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 69-85.
    9. Alexander Popov, 2020. "Discussion of Saka," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(S1), pages 307-311, October.
    10. Irina Balteanu & Aitor Erce, 2018. "Linking Bank Crises and Sovereign Defaults: Evidence from Emerging Markets," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(4), pages 617-664, December.
    11. Crosignani, Matteo & Faria-e-Castro, Miguel & Fonseca, Luís, 2020. "The (Unintended?) consequences of the largest liquidity injection ever," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 97-112.
    12. Crosignani, Matteo, 2021. "Bank capital, government bond holdings, and sovereign debt capacity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 693-704.
    13. Ohls, Jana, 2017. "Moral suasion in regional government bond markets," Discussion Papers 33/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano & Ricardo Reis & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Dimitri Vayanos, 2017. "ESBies: safety in the tranches," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(90), pages 175-219.
    15. Ben R. Craig & Margherita Giuzio & Sandra Paterlini, 2019. "The Effect of Possible EU Diversification Requirements on the Risk of Banks’ Sovereign Bond Portfolios," Working Papers 19-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. Matteo Crosignani, 2015. "Why Are Banks Not Recapitalized During Crises?," Working Papers 203, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    17. Nikolay Hristov & Oliver Hülsewig & Johann Scharler, 2021. "Unconventional Monetary Policy Shocks in the Euro Area and the Sovereign-Bank Nexus," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 17(3), pages 337-383, September.
    18. Matthieu Chavaz & Andrew K Rose, 2019. "Political Borders and Bank Lending in Post-Crisis America," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 23(5), pages 935-959.
    19. Meyland, Dominik & Schäfer, Dorothea, 2021. "Home Bias in Sovereign Exposure and the Probability of Bank Default – Evidence From EU-Stress Test Data," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242453, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Spyros Alogoskoufis & Sam Langfield, 2020. "Regulating the Doom Loop," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(4), pages 251-292, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:11:y:2019:i:4:p:346-79. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.