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Are Treasury Securities Free of Default?


  • Nippani, Srinivas
  • Liu, Pu
  • Schulman, Craig T.


The chain of events that led to the disagreement between the White House and Congrees over the increase of the federal debt limit from mid-October 1995 to March 1996 caused a default potential for Treasury securities. We examine the effect of this event chain on the yield spread between commercial paper and Treasury bills and find that both the three-and six-month yield spreads were reduced during the event period. The results suggest that the market charged a default risk premium to the Treasury securities. There is no evidence that these events had a sustained effect on T-bill rates since the yield spread during the post-event period resumed its pre-event level.

Suggested Citation

  • Nippani, Srinivas & Liu, Pu & Schulman, Craig T., 2001. "Are Treasury Securities Free of Default?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 251-265, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:36:y:2001:i:02:p:251-265_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Shaikh, Imlak, 2017. "The 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Stock, FX and VIX markets," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 546-563.
    2. Liu, Pu & Shao, Yingying & Yeager, Timothy J., 2009. "Did the repeated debt ceiling controversies embed default risk in US Treasury securities?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1464-1471, August.
    3. Kenneth Washer & Srinivas Nippani & John Wingender, 2011. "Day-of-the-week effect in the Canadian money market," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 855-866, August.
    4. Nippani, Srinivas & Smith, Stanley D., 2010. "The increasing default risk of US Treasury securities due to the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2472-2480, October.
    5. David B. Cashin & Erin E. Syron Ferris & Elizabeth C. Klee & Cailey Stevens, 2017. "Take it to the Limit : The Debt Ceiling and Treasury Yields," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-052, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. David B. Cashin & Erin E. Syron Ferris & Elizabeth C. Klee, 2020. "Treasury Safety, Liquidity, and Money Premium Dynamics: Evidence from Recent Debt Limit Impasses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-008, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Emily Gallagher & Sean Collins, 2016. "Money Market Funds and the Prospect of a US Treasury Default," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(01), pages 1-44, March.
    8. Imlak Shaikh, 2019. "The U.S. Presidential Election 2012/2016 and Investors’ Sentiment: The Case of CBOE Market Volatility Index," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(3), pages 21582440198, July.
    9. Srinivas Nippani & W. Medlin, 2002. "The 2000 Presidential Election and the stock market," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 26(2), pages 162-169, June.
    10. Nippani, Srinivas & Pennathur, Anita K., 2004. "Day-of-the-week effects in commercial paper yield rates," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 508-520, September.
    11. Srinivas Nippani & Stanley D. Smith, 2009. "The Increasing Default Risk of U.S. Treasuries Securities Due to the Financial Crisis," NFI Working Papers 2010-WP-01, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.

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