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Keywords:Sovereign default 

Working Paper
Distributional Incentives in an Equilibrium Model of Domestic Sovereign Default

Europe?s debt crisis resembles historical episodes of outright default on domestic public debt about which little research exists. This paper proposes a theory of domestic sovereign default based on distributional incentives affecting the welfare of risk-averse debt and non-debtholders. A utilitarian government cannot sustain debt if default is costless. If default is costly, debt with default risk is sustainable, and debt falls as the concentration of debt ownership rises. A government favoring bondholders can also sustain debt, with debt rising as ownership becomes more concentrated. These ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-23

Working Paper
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 ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-15

Working Paper
A seniority arrangement for sovereign debt

A sovereign's inability to commit to a course of action regarding future borrowing and default behavior makes long-term debt costly (the problem of debt dilution). One mechanism to mitigate the debt dilution problem is the inclusion of a seniority clause in sovereign debt contracts. In the event of default, creditors are to be paid off in the order in which they lent (the ?absolute priority" or ?first-in-time" rule). In this paper, we propose a modification of the absolute priority rule that is more suited to the sovereign debt context and analyze its positive and normative implications ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-7

Working Paper
Sovereign Debt Crises

Sovereign debt crises have been recurrent events over the past two centuries. In recent years, the timing of sovereign crises has coincided or has directly followed banking crises. The link between sovereigns and banks tightened as the contingent liability that the banking sector represents for the sovereign grew, as financial "safety nets" became more common. This chapter analyzes the transmission channels between sovereigns and banks, with a focus on the effect of sovereign distress on bank solvency and financing. It then highlights the notable cost to the real economy of the close ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1104

Working Paper
Avoiding Sovereign Default Contagion: A Normative Analysis

Should debtor countries support each other during sovereign debt crises? We answer this question through the lens of a two-country sovereign-default model that we calibrate to the euro-area periphery. First, we look at cross-country bailouts. We find that whenever agents anticipate their existence, bailouts induce moral hazard an reduce welfare. Second, we look at the borrowing choices of a global central borrower. We find that it borrows less than individual governments and, as such, defaults become less frequent and welfare increases. Finally, we show that central borrower's policies can be ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1275

Report
Sovereign Risk Contagion

We develop a theory of sovereign risk contagion based on financial links. In our multi-country model, sovereign bond spreads comove because default in one country can trigger default in other countries. Countries are linked because they borrow, default, and renegotiate with common lenders, and the bond price and recovery schedules for each country depend on the choices of other countries. A foreign default increases the lenders' pricing kernel, which makes home borrowing more expensive and can induce a home default. Countries also default together because by doing so they can renegotiate the ...
Staff Report , Paper 559

Report
Reputation and Sovereign Default

This paper presents a continuous-time model of sovereign debt. In it, a relatively impatient sovereign government?s hidden type switches back and forth between a commitment type, which cannot default, and an optimizing type, which can default on the country?s debt at any time, and assume outside lenders have particular beliefs regarding how a commitment type should borrow for any given level of debt and bond price. We show that if these beliefs satisfy reasonable assumptions, in any Markov equilibrium, the optimizing type mimics the commitment type when borrowing, revealing its type only by ...
Staff Report , Paper 564

Report
Real Interest Rates, Inflation, and Default

This paper argues that the comovement between inflation and economic activity is an important determinant of real interest rates over time and across countries. First, we show that for advanced economies, periods with more procyclical inflation are associated with lower real rates, but only when there is no risk of default on government debt. Second, we present a model of nominal sovereign debt with domestic risk-averse lenders. With procyclical inflation, nominal bonds pay out more in bad times, making them a good hedge against aggregate risk. In the absence of default risk, procyclical ...
Staff Report , Paper 574

Report
Fiscal Austerity during Debt Crises

This paper constructs a dynamic model in which fiscal restrictions interact with government borrowing and default. The government faces fiscal constraints; it cannot adjust tax rates or impose lump-sum taxes on the private sector, but it can adjust public consumption and foreign debt. When foreign debt is sufficiently high, however, the government can choose to default to increase domestic public and private consumption by freeing up the resources used to pay the debt. Two types of defaults arise in this environment: fiscal defaults and aggregate defaults. Fiscal defaults occur because of the ...
Staff Report , Paper 525

Report
Renegotiation Policies in Sovereign Defaults

This paper studies an optimal renegotiation protocol designed by a benevolent planner when two countries renegotiate with the same lender. The solution calls for recoveries that induce each country to default or repay, trading off the deadweight costs and the redistribution benefits of default independently of the other country. This outcome contrasts with a decentralized bargaining solution where default in one country increases the likelihood of default in the second country because recoveries are lower when both countries renegotiate. The paper suggests that policies geared at designing ...
Staff Report , Paper 495

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