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Sovereign Default Risk and Banks in a Monetary Union

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  • Uhlig, Harald

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Uhlig, Harald, 2013. "Sovereign Default Risk and Banks in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 9606, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9606
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reinhart, C. M., 2012. "The return of financial repression," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 16, pages 37-48, April.
    2. Roch, Francisco & Uhlig, Harald, 2018. "The dynamics of sovereign debt crises and bailouts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-13.
    3. Broner, Fernando & Erce, Aitor & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2014. "Sovereign debt markets in turbulent times: Creditor discrimination and crowding-out effects," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-142.
    4. Acharya, Viral V. & Steffen, Sascha, 2015. "The “greatest” carry trade ever? Understanding eurozone bank risks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 215-236.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2012. "Die Target-Falle: Gefahren für unser Geld und unsere Kinder," Books, by Staff of the ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 2012001.
    6. 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.
    7. Itamar Drechsler & Thomas Drechsel & David Marques-Ibanez & Philipp Schnabl, 2016. "Who Borrows from the Lender of Last Resort?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1933-1974, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank regulation; common central bank; ECB; Euro zone crisis; European Central Bank; haircuts; repurchase operations; risk shifting; sovereign default risk;

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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