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Sovereign Default Risk and Banks in a Monetary Union

  • Harald Uhlig

This paper seeks to understand the interplay between banks, bank regulation, sovereign default risk and central bank guarantees in a monetary union. I assume that banks can use sovereign bonds for repurchase agreements with a common central bank, and that their sovereign partially backs up any losses, should the banks not be able to repurchase the bonds. I argue that regulators in risky countries have an incentive to allow their banks to hold home risky bonds and risk defaults, while regulators in other “safe” countries will impose tighter regulation. As a result, governments in risky countries get to borrow more cheaply, effectively shifting the risk of some of the potential sovereign default losses on the common central bank.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-08/cesifo1_wp4368.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4368.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4368
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  1. Viral V. Acharya & Sascha Steffen, 2013. "The "Greatest" Carry Trade Ever? Understanding Eurozone Bank Risks," NBER Working Papers 19039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2011. "A Series of Unfortunate Events: Common Sequencing Patterns in Financial Crises," 'Angelo Costa' Lectures Serie, SIPI Spa, issue Lect. XII.
  3. Fernando Broner & Aitor Erce & Alberto Martín & Jaume Ventura, 2013. "Sovereign Debt Markets in Turbulent Times: Creditor Discrimination and Crowding-Out Effects," Working Papers 701, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen M., 2012. "The Return of Financial Repression," CEPR Discussion Papers 8947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Acharya, Viral V & Steffen, Sascha, 2013. "The "Greatest" Carry Trade Ever? Understanding Eurozone Bank Risks," CEPR Discussion Papers 9432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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