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The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads

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  • Gibson, Heather D.
  • Hall, Stephen G.
  • Tavlas, George S.

Abstract

We discuss the origins of the Greek financial crisis as manifested in the growing fiscal and current-account deficits since euro-area entry in 2001. We then extend a model typically used to explain risk premia to assess the extent to which credit ratings captured these premia. Next, we estimate a cointegrating relationship between spreads and their long-term fundamental determinants and compare the spreads predicted by this estimated relationship with actual spreads. We find that spreads were significantly below what would be predicted by fundamentals from end-2004 up to the middle of 2005; by contrast, since May 2010, actual spreads have exceeded predicted spreads by some 400 basis points.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, Heather D. & Hall, Stephen G. & Tavlas, George S., 2012. "The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 498-516.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:31:y:2012:i:3:p:498-516
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2011.10.009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Greek financial crisis; Sovereign spreads;

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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