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The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007

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  • Flandreau, Marc
  • Flores Zendejas, Juan Huitzilihuitl
  • Gaillard, Norbert
  • Nieto-Parra, Sebastián

Abstract

We provide a comparison of salient organizational features of primary markets for foreign government debt over the very long run. We focus on output, quality control, information provision, competition, pricing, charging and signaling. We find that the market set up experienced a radical transformation in the recent period and interpret this as resulting from the rise of liability insurance provided by rating agencies. Underwriters have given up their former role as gatekeepers of liquidity and certification agencies to become aggressive competitors in a new speculative grade market.

Suggested Citation

  • Flandreau, Marc & Flores Zendejas, Juan Huitzilihuitl & Gaillard, Norbert & Nieto-Parra, Sebastián, 2009. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 7347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7347
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    Cited by:

    1. Carola Frydman & Eric Hilt, 2014. "Investment Banks as Corporate Monitors in the Early 20th Century United States," NBER Working Papers 20544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    3. Calomiris, Charles W. & Flandreau, Marc & Laeven, Luc, 2016. "Political foundations of the lender of last resort: A global historical narrative," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 48-65.
    4. Hautcoeur Pierre-Cyrille & Riva Angelo E., 2013. "What Financiers Usually Do, and What We Can Learn from History," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-19, April.
    5. Flores Zendejas, Juan, 2020. "Explaining latin america's persistent defaults: an analysis of debtor-creditor relations in London, 1822-1914," Working Papers unige:140134, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    6. Bignon, Vincent & Flandreau, Marc, 2011. "The Economics of Badmouthing: Libel Law and the Underworld of the Financial Press in France Before World War I," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 616-653, September.
    7. Chavaz, Matthieu & Flandreau, Marc, 2015. "‘High and dry’: the liquidity and credit of colonial and foreign government debt in the London Stock Exchange (1880–1910)," Bank of England working papers 555, Bank of England.
    8. David James Gill, 2015. "Rating the UK: the British government's sovereign credit ratings, 1976–8," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(3), pages 1016-1037, August.
    9. Marc Flandreau & Juan Flores, 2011. "Bondholders vs. bond-sellers? Investment banks and conditionality lending in the London market for foreign government debt, 1815-1913," Working Papers 0002, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    10. Marc Flandreau & Norbert Gaillard & Ugo Panizza, 2009. "Conflicts of Interest, Reputation and the Interwar Debt Crisis: Banksters or Bad Luck?," IHEID Working Papers 02-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Feb 2010.
    11. Barry Eichengreen & Asmaa El-Ganainy & Rui Esteves & Kris James Mitchener, 2019. "Public Debt Through the Ages," NBER Working Papers 25494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau & Jacques-Marie Vaslin, 2013. "Waterloo: a Godsend for French Public Finances?," Working Papers 0041, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    13. Chavaz, Matthieu & Flandreau, Marc, 2016. ""High & Dry": The Liquidity and Credit of Colonial and Foreign Government Debt and the London Stock Exchange (1880-1910)," CEPR Discussion Papers 11679, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2015. "A Seniority Arrangement for Sovereign Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3740-3765, December.
    15. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2011. "A Series of Unfortunate Events: Common Sequencing Patterns in Financial Crises," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 4, pages 11-36, October-D.
    16. Flandreau, Marc & Flores Zendejas, Juan Huitzilihuitl, 2010. "Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark: Relationship banking and conditionality lending in the London market for government debt, 1815-1913," CEPR Discussion Papers 7915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Flandreau, Marc, 2017. "Reputation, Regulation and the Collapse of International Capital Markets, 1920-1935," CEPR Discussion Papers 11747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Flores Zendejas, Juan, 2015. "Capital Markets and Sovereign Defaults: A Historical Perspective," Working Papers unige:73325, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    19. Barry Eichengreen & Asmaa El-Ganainy & Rui Esteves & Kris James Mitchener, 2019. "Public Debt Through the Ages," NBER Working Papers 25494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Rohan Pitchford & Mark L. J. Wright, 2013. "On the contribution of game theory to the study of sovereign debt and default," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 649-667, WINTER.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    banks competition; certification; primary bond market; sovereign debt crises;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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