Target2 Redux: The simple accountancy and slightly more complex economics of Bundesbank loss exposure through the Eurosystem
This study shows that Target2 net claims are a poor measure of Bundesbank loss exposure, and even more so of German loss exposure to the rest of the Eurozone. This is true even under plausible assumptions about a comprehensive break-up scenario that leaves Germany as the only member of the euro area and the Bundesbank as the sole owner of the ECB. In this implausible scenario, the discrepancy between the Bundesbank’s Target2 net credit balance and its likely loss exposure has two principal sources. First, the 16 national central banks (NCBs) that exit the Eurosystem (which will on balance be net Target2 debtors) and their sovereigns will not automatically walk away completely from their Target2 debts - defaulting on their debts with a zero recovery rate for the Bundesbank. Legally, the Target2 claims are not extinguished by exit from the Eurosystem by the debtor NCBs. Politically and realistically, many of the exiting NCBs would be able and willing to honour their obligations to Target2 in part or even in full. Second, in the comprehensive break-up scenario, future seigniorage revenues of the Bundesbank would likely go up, as it would be left with a larger share (in our example 100 percent) of the ownership of the ECB. Changes in German exposure to the rest of the euro area (or to the periphery) can differ in magnitude and in sign from Bundesbank exposure.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Ulrich Bindseil & Philipp Johann König, 2012. "TARGET2 and the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 45(2), pages 135–174.
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- Peter M. Garber, 1998. "Notes on the Role of TARGET in a Stage III Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bindseil, Ulrich & Winkler, Adalbert, 2012. "Dual liquidity crises under alternative monetary frameworks: a financial accounts perspective," Working Paper Series 1478, European Central Bank.
- Winkler, Adalbert & Bindseil, Ulrich, 2012. "Dual liquidity crises under alternative monetary frameworks," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62032, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Whittaker, John, 2011. "Intra-eurosystem debts," MPRA Paper 38368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Buiter, Willem H. & Rahbari, Ebrahim, 2012. "The ECB as Lender of Last Resort for Sovereigns in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 8974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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