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Why Are Banks Not Recapitalized During Crises?
I develop a model where the sovereign debt capacity depends on the capitalization of domestic banks. Low-capital banks optimally tilt their government bond portfolio toward domestic securities, linking their destiny to that of the sovereign. If the sovereign risk is sufficiently high, low-capital banks reduce private lending to further increase their holdings of domestic government bonds, lowering sovereign yields and supporting the home sovereign debt capacity. The model rationalizes, in the context of the eurozone periphery, the increase in domestic government bond holdings, the reduction ...
Safe-Haven Performance in the Age of Bitcoin
In past periods of financial stress, investors seeking “safe havens” have shifted toward government bonds and gold. In recent years, some have questioned whether Bitcoin could also serve as a safe haven. We compare the behavior of government bonds, gold, and Bitcoin from January 1995 through February 2020 and find that the 10-year Treasury note behaved like a safe haven consistently, gold occasionally, and Bitcoin never. During March 2020, however, none of the assets can be classified with confidence as a safe haven.
Should Capital Be Taxed?
We design an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agents and incomplete-markets model to demonstrate analytically that in the absence of any redistributional effects of government policies, optimal capital tax is zero despite capital overaccumulation under precautionary savings and borrowing constraints. Our result indicates that public debt is a better tool than capital taxation to restore aggregate productive efficiency.