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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. Matteo Iacoviello, 2015. "Financial Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(1), pages 140-164, January.
  2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2010. "Financial globalization, financial crises and contagion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 24-39, January.
  3. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Working Paper 08-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  4. Cesar Sosa-Padilla, 2012. "Sovereign Defaults and Banking Crises," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-09, McMaster University, revised Aug 2015.
  5. Christopher M. Gunn & Alok Johri, 2011. "News, Intermediation Efficiency and Expectations-driven Boom-bust Cycles," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-02, McMaster University.
  6. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
  7. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2007. "News and Business Cycles in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 6520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Robert Kollmann, 2013. "Global Banks, Financial Shocks, and International Business Cycles: Evidence from an Estimated Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(s2), pages 159-195, December.
  9. Ricardo Nunes & Horacio Sapriza & Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2010. "News and sovereign default risk in small open economies," 2010 Meeting Papers 1224, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Christopher M. Gunn & Alok Johri, 2009. "News and knowledge capital," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-02, McMaster University.
  11. 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.
  12. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2001. "An Exploration into Pigou's Theory of Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2996, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 1999. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: the role of interest rates," Department of Economics Working Papers 014, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Beaudry, Paul & Dupaigne, Martial & Portier, Franck, 2009. "Modeling News-Driven International Business Cycles," TSE Working Papers 09-117, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  17. Vivian Z. Yue, 2005. "Sovereign Default and Debt Renegotiation," 2005 Meeting Papers 138, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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