IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Banks, Government Bonds, and Default; What do the Data Say?

  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Alberto Martin
  • Stefano Rossi

We analyze holdings of public bonds by over 20,000 banks in 191 countries, and the role of these bonds in 20 sovereign defaults over 1998-2012. Banks hold many public bonds (on average 9% of their assets), particularly in less financially-developed countries. During sovereign defaults, banks increase their exposure to public bonds, especially large banks and when expected bond returns are high. At the bank level, bondholdings correlate negatively with subsequent lending during sovereign defaults. This correlation is mostly due to bonds acquired in pre-default years. These findings shed light on alternative theories of the sovereign default-banking crisis nexus.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 14/120.

in new window

Length: 53
Date of creation: 08 Jul 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/120
Contact details of provider: Postal:
International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA

Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Viral V. Acharya & Sascha Steffen, 2013. "The "Greatest" Carry Trade Ever? Understanding Eurozone Bank Risks," NBER Working Papers 19039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Viral V. Acharya & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2011. "Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia, and the Financial Sector," NBER Working Papers 17542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Federico Sturzenegger, 2005. "Haircuts; Estimating Investor Losses in Sovereign Debt Restructurings, 1998-2005," IMF Working Papers 05/137, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jaume Ventura & Fernando A. Broner, 2006. "Globalization and Risk Sharing," NBER Working Papers 12482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Arteta, Carlos & Hale, Galina, 2008. "Sovereign debt crises and credit to the private sector," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-69, January.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh & Andrés Velasco (ed.), 2008. "Money, Crises, and Transition: Essays in Honor of Guillermo A. Calvo," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182661, December.
  7. Fabio Comelli, 2012. "Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Spreads; Estimation and Back-testing," IMF Working Papers 12/212, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Ozer-Balli, Hatice & Sørensen, Bent E, 2010. "Interaction Effects in Econometrics," CEPR Discussion Papers 7929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Greenwood, Robin & Vayanos, Dimitri, 2008. "Bond Supply and Excess Bond Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 6694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2004. "What Drives Bank Competition? Some International Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 563-83, June.
  11. Guido Sandleris, 2012. "The Costs of Sovereign Defaults:Theory and Empirical Evidence," Business School Working Papers 2012-02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  13. Comelli, Fabio, 2012. "Emerging market sovereign bond spreads: Estimation and back-testing," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 598-625.
  14. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Nicola Gennaioli & Alberto Martin & Stefano Rossi, 2012. "Sovereign Default, Domestic Banks, and Financial Institutions," Working Papers 462, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  16. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sorensen, Bent & Yesiltas, Sevcan, 2012. "Leverage across firms, banks, and countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 284-298.
  17. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2006. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," NBER Working Papers 12783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233 - 267.
  19. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & María Soledad Martínez Pería & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2010. "Depositor Behavior under Macroeconomic Risk: Evidence from Bank Runs in Emerging Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 585-614, 06.
  20. Michael Kumhof & Evan C Tanner, 2005. "Government Debt; A Key Role in Financial Intermediation," IMF Working Papers 05/57, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
  22. Cruces, Juan J. & Trebesch, Christoph, 2013. "Sovereign defaults: The price of haircuts," Munich Reprints in Economics 20036, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  23. Acharya, Viral V & Steffen, Sascha, 2013. "The "Greatest" Carry Trade Ever? Understanding Eurozone Bank Risks," CEPR Discussion Papers 9432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Filippo Brutti & Philip Ulrich Sauré, 2014. "Repatriation of Debt in the Euro Crisis: Evidence for the Secondary Market Theory," Working Papers 2014-03, Swiss National Bank.
  25. Andrea Pescatori & Amadou N R Sy, 2007. "Are Debt Crises Adequately Defined?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 306-337, June.
  26. 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.
  27. Jochen R. Andritzky, 2012. "Government Bonds and their Investors; What Are the Facts and Do they Matter?," IMF Working Papers 12/158, International Monetary Fund.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/120. 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: (Jim Beardow)

or (Hassan Zaidi)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.