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Sovereign Risk and Bank Risk-Taking

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  • Anil Ari

    (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

In European countries recently hit by a sovereign debt crisis, the share of domestic sovereign debt held by the national banking system has sharply increased, raising issues in their economic and financial resilience, as well as in policy design. This paper examines these issues by analyzing the banking equilibrium in a model with optimizing banks and depositors. To the extent that sovereign default causes bank losses also independently of their holding of domestic government bonds, undercapitalized banks have an incentive to gamble on these bonds. The optimal reaction by depositors to insolvency risk imposes discipline, but also leaves the economy susceptible to self-fulfilling shifts in sentiments, where sovereign default also causes a banking crisis. Policy interventions face a trade-off between alleviating funding constraints and strengthening incentives to gamble. Subsidized loans to banks, similar to the ECB's non-targeted longer-term refinancing operations (LTRO), may eliminate the good equilibrium when the banking sector is undercapitalized. Targeted interventions have the capacity to eliminate adverse equilibria.

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  • Anil Ari, 2016. "Sovereign Risk and Bank Risk-Taking," 2016 Meeting Papers 676, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:676
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    Cited by:

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    2. Mr. Anil Ari & Sophia Chen & Mr. Lev Ratnovski, 2019. "The Dynamics of Non-Performing Loans during Banking Crises: A New Database," IMF Working Papers 2019/272, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Matteo Crosignani, 2015. "Why Are Banks Not Recapitalized During Crises?," Working Papers 203, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    4. Andreas Jobst & Ms. Hiroko Oura, 2019. "Sovereign Risk in Macroprudential Solvency Stress Testing," IMF Working Papers 2019/266, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Buch, Claudia M. & Koetter, Michael & Ohls, Jana, 2016. "Banks and sovereign risk: A granular view," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-15.
    6. Carlos Alberto Piscarreta Pinto Ferreira, 2023. "Drivers of Sovereign Bond Demand – The Case of Japans," Working Papers REM 2023/0264, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    7. Maria Manuel Campos & Ana Rita Mateus, 2019. "Sovereign exposures in the Portuguese banking system: determinants and dynamics," Working Papers w201916, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    8. Ari, Anil & Chen, Sophia & Ratnovski, Lev, 2021. "The dynamics of non-performing loans during banking crises: A new database with post-COVID-19 implications," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    9. Affinito, Massimiliano & Albareto, Giorgio & Santioni, Raffaele, 2022. "Purchases of sovereign debt securities by banks during the crisis: The role of balance sheet conditions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    10. Hodula Martin & Pfeifer Lukáš, 2018. "Fiscal-Monetary-Financial Stability Interactions in a Data-Rich Environment," Review of Economic Perspectives, Sciendo, vol. 18(3), pages 195-224, September.
    11. Ohls, Jana, 2017. "Moral suasion in regional government bond markets," Discussion Papers 33/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Ari, Anil, 2018. "Gambling traps," Working Paper Series 2217, European Central Bank.
    13. Corbisiero, Giuseppe, 2022. "Bank lending, collateral, and credit traps in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    14. Nadal De Simone, Francisco, 2021. "Measuring the deadly embrace: Systemic and sovereign risks," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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