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Banking Regulation with Risk of Sovereign Default
Banking regulation routinely designates some assets as safe and thus does not require banks to hold any additional capital to protect against losses from these assets. A typical such safe asset is domestic government debt. There are numerous examples of banking regulation treating domestic government bonds as ?safe,? even when there is clear risk of default on these bonds. We show, in a parsimonious model, that this failure to recognize the riskiness of government debt allows (and induces) domestic banks to ?gamble? with depositors? funds by purchasing risky government bonds (and assets ...