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Government debt and banking fragility: the spreading of strategic uncertainty

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  • Nikolov, Kalin
  • Cooper, Russell

Abstract

This paper studies the interaction of government debt and financial markets. This interaction, termed a ‘diabolic loop’, is driven by government choice to bail out banks and the resulting incentives for banks to hold government debt rather than self-insure through equity buffers. We highlight the role of bank equity issuance in determining whether the ‘diabolic loop’ is a Nash Equilibrium of the interaction between banks and the government. When equity is issued, no diabolic loop exists. In equilibrium, banks’ rational expectations of a bailout ensure that no equity is issued and the sovereign-bank loop is operative. JEL Classification: G01, G28, E44

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolov, Kalin & Cooper, Russell, 2018. "Government debt and banking fragility: the spreading of strategic uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2195, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20182195
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harald Uhlig, 2014. "Sovereign Default Risk and Banks in a Monetary Union," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 15(1), pages 23-41, February.
    2. Viral V. Acharya & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2008. "Cash-in-the-Market Pricing and Optimal Resolution of Bank Failures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(6), pages 2705-2742, November.
    3. Nicola Gennaioli & Alberto Martin & Stefano Rossi, 2014. "Sovereign Default, Domestic Banks, and Financial Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 819-866, April.
    4. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    5. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-661, September.
    6. Russell Cooper, 2012. "Debt Fragility and Bailouts," NBER Working Papers 18377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Viral Acharya & Itamar Drechsler & Philipp Schnabl, 2014. "A Pyrrhic Victory? Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(6), pages 2689-2739, December.
    9. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    10. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
    11. Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig, 2013. "The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9929.
    12. Francisco Roch & Harald Uhlig, 2016. "The Dynamics of Sovereign Debt Crises and Bailouts," IMF Working Papers 16/136, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2013. "Deposit Insurance and Orderly Liquidation without Commitment: Can we Sleep Well?," NBER Working Papers 19132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign-banking loop; sovereign default;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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