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Hope springs eternal - French bondholders and the Soviet repudiation (1915-1919)

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  • Kim Oosterlinck
  • John Landon-Lane

Abstract

By their extreme nature, repudiations rarely occur. History is therefore crucial to analyze their impact on bond prices. This paper provides an empirical study based on an original database: prices of a Tsarist bond traded in Paris before and after its repudiation by the Soviets. A structural vector autoregression is used to identify shocks to this bond that are orthogonal to shocks hitting a proxy for the Paris bond market, the French 3% rente. French market shocks are thus disentangled from repudiation specific shocks hitting the Russian bond. Consistent with expectations no major Russian shocks appears before the 1917 revolution. For 1918, shocks are mainly related with bailouts or hopes of partial bailouts. In 1919, however, the nature of shocks changes as they can be explained either by the negotiations with the Soviets or by the fate of the White Armies. In view of these elements, we argue that the bonds’ value were subject to a “Peso problem”. Their prices essentially reflected expected extreme events that never took place.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kim Oosterlinck & John Landon-Lane, 2006. "Hope springs eternal - French bondholders and the Soviet repudiation (1915-1919)," Post-Print CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 10(4), pages 507-535, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:spaper:2013/142696
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vidovics-Dancs, Ágnes, 2014. "Az államcsőd költségei régen és ma [Costs of sovereign defaults now and long ago]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 262-278.
    2. Mitu Gulati & Ugo Panizza, 2020. "The Hausmann–Gorky Effect," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 175-195, September.
    3. Waldenström, Daniel, 2010. "Why does sovereign risk differ for domestic and external debt? Evidence from Scandinavia, 1938-1948," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 387-402, April.
    4. Xavier De Scheemaekere & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2014. "Issues in Identifying Economic Crises: Insights from History," Working Papers CEB 14-014, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Tobias A. Jopp, 2014. "How did the capital market evaluate Germany’s prospects for winning World War I? Evidence from the Amsterdam market for government bonds," Working Papers 0052, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    6. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    7. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau, 2008. "Multiple Potential Payers and Sovereign Bond Prices," Finance, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, vol. 29(1), pages 31-52.
    8. Jopp, Tobias A., 2017. "How does the public perceive alliances? The Central and Allied Powers in World War I," IBF Paper Series 12-17, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    9. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    10. Daniel Waldenstr�m & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Using Markets to Measure Pre-War Threat Assessments: The Nordic Countries facing World War II," IEW - Working Papers 308, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Mitchener, Kris James & Oosterlinck, Kim & Weidenmier, Marc D. & Haber, Stephen, 2015. "Victory or repudiation? Predicting winners in civil wars using international financial markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 310-319.
    12. Foley-Fisher, Nathan & McLaughlin, Eoin, 2016. "Sovereign debt guarantees and default: Lessons from the UK and Ireland, 1920–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 272-286.
    13. Xavier De Scheemaekere & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2012. "Addressing Economic Crises: The Reference-Class Problem," Working Papers CEB 12-024, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7874 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alexander Opitz, 2018. "“Comrades, Let's March!”.† The Revolution of 1905 and its impact on financial markets," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 28-52.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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