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Toward a bottom-up approach to assessing sovereign default risk: an update

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    We propose a totally new approach toward assessing sovereign risk by examining rigorously the health and aggregate default risk of a nation’s private corporate sector. Models such as our new Z-Metrics™ approach can be utilized to measure the median probability of default of the non-financial sector cumulatively for five years, both as an absolute measure of corporate risk vulnerability and a relative measure compared to other sovereigns and to the market’s assessment via the now liquid credit-default-swap market. Specifically, we measure the default probabilities of listed corporate entities in eleven European countries, and the U.S., as of 2008-2010. These periods coincide with the significant rise in concern with sovereign default risk in the euro country sphere. We conclude that our corporate health index of the private sector measured at periods prior to the explicit recognition by most credit professionals, not only gave an effective early warning indicator but provided a mostly appropriate hierarchy of relative sovereign risk. Policy officials should, we believe, nurture, not penalize, the tax revenue paying and jobs generating private sector when considering austerity measures of distressed sovereigns.

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    Article provided by Capco Institute in its journal Journal of Financial Transformation.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages: 19-29

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    Handle: RePEc:ris:jofitr:1508
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    1. Gennaioli, Nicola & Martin, Alberto & Rossi, Stefano, 2010. "Sovereign Default, Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    14. Eli M. Remolona & Michela Scatigna & Eliza Wu, 2008. "A ratings-based approach to measuring sovereign risk," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 26-39.
    15. Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, 2012. "Sovereign Credit Risk in the Eurozone," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 13(1), pages 123-136, January.
    16. Dale F. Gray & Robert C. Merton & Zvi Bodie, 2006. "A New Framework for Analyzing and Managing Macrofinancial Risks of an Economy," NBER Working Papers 12637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Smith, Roy C. & Walter, Ingo, 2003. "Global Banking," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195134360.
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