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

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  • Christopher M. Gunn
  • Alok Johri

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher M. Gunn & Alok Johri, 2013. "Fear of Sovereign Default, Banks, and Expectations-driven Business Cycles," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-08, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2013-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Adler, Gustavo & Lizarazo, Sandra, 2015. "Intertwined sovereign and bank solvencies in a simple model of self-fulfilling crisis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 428-448.
    2. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2014. "News-Driven Business Cycles: Insights and Challenges," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 993-1074, December.
    3. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & Znuderl, Nusa, 2013. "The HERMES-13 macroeconomic model of the Irish economy," Papers WP460, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    expectations-driven business cycles; sovereign defaults; financial inter-mediation; news shocks; business cycles; interest rate spreads; capital adequacy requirements;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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