IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Banking Union with a Sovereign Virus: The self-serving regulatory treatment of sovereign debt in the euro area


  • Gros, Daniel


In many eurozone countries, domestic banks often hold more than 20% of domestic public debt, which is an unsatisfactory situation given that banks are highly leveraged and that sovereign debt is inherently subject to default risk within the euro area. This paper by Daniel Gros finds, however, that the relative concentration of public debt on bank balance sheets is not just a result of the euro crisis, for there are strong additional incentives for banks in some countries to increase their sovereign. His contribution discusses a number of these regulatory incentives – the most important of which is specific to the euro area – and explores ways in which euro area banks can be weaned from massive investments in government bonds.

Suggested Citation

  • Gros, Daniel, 2013. "Banking Union with a Sovereign Virus: The self-serving regulatory treatment of sovereign debt in the euro area," CEPS Papers 7904, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:eps:cepswp:7904

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roth, Felix & Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas & Otter, Thomas, 2011. "Has the financial crisis shattered citizens’ trust in national and European governmental institutions? Evidence from the EU member states, 1999-2010," CEPS Papers 4159, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1993. "A Simple Estimator of Cointegrating Vectors in Higher Order Integrated Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 783-820, July.
    3. Erik Jones, 2009. "Output Legitimacy and the Global Financial Crisis: Perceptions Matter," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 1085-1105, November.
    4. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "The Lost Popularity Function: Are Unemployment and Inflation no longer Relevant for the Bahaviour of German Voters?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2882, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Lars Jonung & Cristina Conflitti, 2008. "Is the euro advantageous? Does it foster European feelings? Europeans on the euro after five years," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 313, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Sara Binzer Hobolt & Patrick Leblond, 2009. "Is My Crown Better than Your Euro?," European Union Politics, , vol. 10(2), pages 202-225, June.
    7. Saikkonen, Pentti, 1991. "Asymptotically Efficient Estimation of Cointegration Regressions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 1-21, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. De Groen, Willem Pieter, 2015. "The ECB’s QE: Time to break the doom loop between banks and their governments," CEPS Papers 10299, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Fabrizio Balassone & Sara Cecchetti & Martina Cecioni & Marika Cioffi & Wanda Cornacchia & Flavia Corneli & Gabriele Semeraro, 2016. "Economic governance in the euro area: balancing risk reduction and risk sharing," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 344, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:9:p:1718-1749 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jack Bekooij & Jon Frost & Remco van der Molen & Krzysztof Muzalewski, 2016. "Hazardous tango: Sovereign-bank interdependencies across countries and time," DNB Working Papers 541, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Paolo Angelini & Giuseppe Grande & Fabio Panetta, 2014. "The negative feedback loop between banks and sovereigns," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 213, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Gianluca Cafiso, 2014. "Debt Sustainability in the Case of External Debt. An Analysis Based on Italy's Treasury Auctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5021, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Gianluca Cafiso, 2013. "Public-Debt Financing in the case of External Debt," Working Papers 2013-37, CEPII research center.
    8. van Riet, Ad, 2016. "Government Funding Privileges in European Financial Law : Making Public Debt Everybody's Favourite?," Discussion Paper 2016-045, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Kathrin Berensmann & Florence Dafe & Ulrich Volz, 2015. "Developing local currency bond markets for long-term development financing in Sub-Saharan Africa," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3-4), pages 350-378.
    10. Gros, Daniel, 2015. "Completing the Banking Union: Deposit Insurance," CEPS Papers 11143, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    11. Balassone Fabrizio & Cecchetti Sara & Cecioni Martina & Cioffi Marika & Cornacchia Wanda & Corneli Flavia & Semeraro Gabriele, 2016. "Risk Reduction and Risk Sharing in the Governance of the Euro Area," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 463-488.
    12. Fritz Breuss, 2013. "European Banking Union," WIFO Working Papers 454, WIFO.
    13. Michele Lanotte & Giacomo Manzelli & Anna Maria Rinaldi & Marco Taboga & Pietro Tommasino, 2016. "Easier said than done? Reforming the prudential treatment of banks’ sovereign exposures," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 326, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. De Groen, Willem Pieter, 2016. "The EBA EU-wide Stress Test 2016: Deciphering the black box," CEPS Papers 11768, Centre for European Policy Studies.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eps:cepswp:7904. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Margarita Minkova). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.