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Fear of Sovereign Default, Banks, and Expectations-driven Business Cycles

  • Christopher M. Gunn
  • Alok Johri

What is the effect of the fear of future sovereign default on the economy of the defaulting country? The typical sovereign default model does not address this question. In this paper we wish to explore the possibility that changing expectations about future default themselves can lead to financial stress (as measured by credit spreads) and recessionary outcomes. We exploit the "news-shock" framework to consider an environment in which sovereign debt-holders receive imperfect signals about the portion of debt that a sovereign may default on in the future. We then investigate how domestic banks can play a role in transmitting the expectation of default into a realized recession through the interaction of the domestic banks' holdings of government debt and their risk-weighted capital requirements. Our results suggest that, consistent with the data, even in the absence of actual realized government default, an increase in pessimism regarding the prospect of future default results in a rise in yields on government debt and an increase in interest rates on private domestic loans, as well as a recession in the economy.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2013-08.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2013-08.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2013-08
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  1. Kollmann, Robert & Enders, Zeno & Müller, Gernot J., 2011. "Global banking and international business cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 407-426, April.
  2. Robert Kollmann, 2013. "Global Banks, Financial Shocks And International Business Cycles: Evidence From An Estimated Model," CAMA Working Papers 2013-30, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Christopher Gunn & Alok Johri, 2011. "News and knowledge capital," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 92-101, January.
  4. Luca Guerrieri & Matteo Iacoviello & Raoul Minetti, 2013. "Banks, Sovereign Debt, and the International Transmission of Business Cycles," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 181 - 213.
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  7. Matteo Iacoviello, 2010. "Financial Business Cycles," 2010 Meeting Papers 1053, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  12. Silvio Contessi, 2012. "An application of conventional sovereign debt sustainability analysis to the current debt crises," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 197-220.
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  14. Christopher M. Gunn & Alok Johri, 2011. "News, Intermediation Efficiency and Expectations-driven Boom-bust Cycles," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-02, McMaster University.
  15. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2001. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies:The Role of Interest Rates," Working Papers 01-12, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Financial Crises and Contagion," NBER Working Papers 15432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2007. "News and Business Cycles in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 6520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Eric Leeper & Todd Walker, 2011. "Information Flows and News Driven Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 55-71, January.
  19. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  20. Cesar Sosa-Padilla, 2014. "Sovereign Defaults and Banking Crises," 2014 Meeting Papers 666, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
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