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Financial Stability Paper No 27: Sovereign Default and State-Contingent Debt

Author

Listed:
  • Brooke, Martin

    (Bank of England)

  • Pienkowski, Alex

    (Bank of England)

  • Mendes, Rhys

    (Bank of England)

  • Santor, Eric

    (Bank of England)

Abstract

In recent decades, the common perception had been that sovereign debt crises were unlikely to occur in advanced economies. Events in the euro area over the past few years, however, have undermined this view. The sovereign debt restructuring in Greece and the events surrounding the IMF-EU support packages for Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus have exposed fault lines in the existing practices for sovereign debt crisis resolution — perhaps most importantly, an overreliance on official sector liquidity support. This paper argues that the current approach is suboptimal for five main reasons: (i) it increases the risk of moral hazard; (ii) it incentivises short-term lending, which can increase the risk of liquidity crises; (iii) it puts an inequitable amount of tax-payer resources at risk; (iv) substantial official sector holdings of an insolvent sovereign’s debt can complicate negotiated debt write-downs; and, (v) it can delay necessary reforms thereby requiring larger policy adjustments to be implemented when action is eventually taken. In response to these deficiencies, this paper argues that, for reasons of equity and efficiency, private creditors should play a greater role in risk-sharing and helping to resolve sovereign debt crises. We propose the introduction of two complementary types of state-continent bonds — ‘sovereign cocos’ and ‘GDP-linked bonds’.

Suggested Citation

  • Brooke, Martin & Pienkowski, Alex & Mendes, Rhys & Santor, Eric, 2013. "Financial Stability Paper No 27: Sovereign Default and State-Contingent Debt," Bank of England Financial Stability Papers 27, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:finsta:0027
    Note: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/financialstability/Pages/fpc/fspapers/fs_paper27.aspx
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    3. Michael Mussa, 1999. "Reforming the International Financial Architecture: Limiting Moral Hazard and Containing Real Hazard," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: David Gruen & Luke Gower (ed.), Capital Flows and the International Financial System Reserve Bank of Australia.
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    19. repec:ebd:wpaper:143 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:dyncon:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:137-155 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Consiglio, Andrea & Zenios, Stavros A., 2018. "Pricing and hedging GDP-linked bonds in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 137-155.
    3. Nicolas Carnot & Stéphanie Pamies Sumner, 2017. "GDP-linked Bonds: Some Simulations on EU Countries," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 073, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Danny Cassimon & Dennis Essers & Karel Verbeke, 2017. "Sovereign Debt Workouts: Quo Vadis?," BeFinD Policy Briefs 4, University of Namur, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international monetary system; state contigent debt;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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