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Bank/sovereign risk spillovers in the European debt crisis

  • De Bruyckere, Valerie
  • Gerhardt, Maria
  • Schepens, Glenn
  • Vander Vennet, Rudi

This paper investigates contagion between bank and sovereign default risk in Europe over the period 2007–2012. We define contagion as excess correlation, i.e. correlation between banks and sovereigns over and above what is explained by common factors, using CDS spreads at the bank and at the sovereign level. Moreover, we investigate the determinants of contagion by analyzing bank-specific as well as country-specific variables and their interaction. Using the EBA’s disclosure of sovereign exposures of banks, we provide empirical evidence that three contagion channels are at work: a guarantee channel, an asset holdings channel and a collateral channel. We find that banks with a weak capital buffer, a weak funding structure and less traditional banking activities are particularly vulnerable to risk spillovers. At the country level, the debt ratio is the most important driver of contagion. Furthermore, the impact of government interventions on contagion depends on the type of intervention, with outright capital injections being the most effective measure in reducing spillover intensity.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 4793-4809

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:37:y:2013:i:12:p:4793-4809
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