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Mr. Nathan Porter, Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora, Mr. Juan P Trevino, Johannes Eugster, and Theofanis Papamichalis
The world has become more interconnected over the past few decades. Against this backdrop, economic and financial contagion following adverse shocks can have a severe impact on the global economy. How systemic can the effects of contagion be? What specific transmission channels are involved? What is their relative importance? We address these questions using a multilayered global network model of contagion that simulates the impact of sovereign debt default on the global economy. We also develop a measure of global systemic risk and use bank stress testing techniques to quantify the systemic impact of the shock and the extent of contagion on the global economy. Our model shows that economic and financial contagion are highly non-linear, and many bystander economies can experience significant negative effects as the initial default is spread through the network. This suggests that many economies might be systemically more important than what conventional measures of size or openness might suggest.
Mohamed Belkhir, Sami Ben Naceur, Bertrand Candelon, and Jean-Charles Wijnandts
This paper studies the transmission of macroprudential policies across both financial and non financial sectors of the economy. It first documents that tighter macroprudential regulations implemented in Europe over the period 2008–2017 lowered default risk not only in the financial, but also in non-financial sectors. Second, the paper analyzes the impact of two reforms in the macroprudential framework. Higher capital requirements improve the long-run resilience of the financial sector but at the cost of raising long-term default risk in non-financial sectors. Strengthening the resolution framework for failing banks has beneficial long-run effects on the default risks of the financial and non-financial sectors. Our results concur with the literature documenting how banks adjust their balance sheet composition and credit supply in reaction to changes in their regulatory environment.
Mr. Leonardo Martinez, Mr. Francisco Roch, Francisco Roldán, and Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer
This paper surveys the literature on sovereign debt from the perspective of understanding how sovereign debt differs from privately issue debt, and why sovereign debt is deemed safe in some countries but risky in others. The answers relate to the unique power of the sovereign. One the one hand, a sovereign has the power to tax, making debt relatively safe; on the other, it also has control over its territory and most of its assets, making debt enforcement difficult. The paper discusses debt contracts and the sovereign debt market, sovereign debt restructurings, and the empirical and theoretical literatures on the costs and causes of defaults. It describes the adverse impact of sovereign default risk on the issuing countries and what explains this impact. The survey concludes with a discussion of policy options to reduce sovereign risk, including fiscal frameworks that act as commitment devices, state-contingent debt, and independent and credible monetary policy.
Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Laura Sunder-Plassmann
We use a new, comprehensive data set on the sovereign debt investor base to document three novel empirical facts: (i) sovereign debt is repatriated - that is, shifted from external private to domestic investors - prior to sovereign defaults; (ii) not all crises are equal: evidence for repatriation during banking and currency crises is more limited; and (iii) the nature of defaults matters: external investors do not leave during preemptive debt restructurings. We further show that repatriation appears to be prevalent when defaults happen in large markets with low capital controls. The data set we use is uniquely suited to analyzing investor base dynamics during rare crises due to its large cross-section and time series, covering 180 countries from 1989 to 2020.
Francesca G Caselli, Matilde Faralli, Paolo Manasse, and Ugo Panizza
This paper studies whether countries benefit from servicing their debts during times of widespread sovereign defaults. Colombia is typically regarded as the only large Latin American country that did not default in the 1980s. Using archival research and formal econometric estimates of Colombia's probability of default, we show that in the early 1980s Colombia's fundamentals were not significantly different from those of the Latin American countries that defaulted on their debts. We also document that the different path chosen by Colombia was due to the authorities' belief that maintaining a good reputation in the international capital market would have substantial long-term payoffs. We show that the case of Colombia is more complex than what it is commonly assumed. Although Colombia had to re-profile its debts, high-level political support from the US allowed Colombia do to so outside the standard framework of an IMF program. Our counterfactual analysis shows that in the short to medium run, Colombia benefitted from avoiding an explicit default. Specifically, we find that GDP growth in the 1980s was higher than that of a counterfactual in which Colombia behaved like its neighboring countries. We also test whether Colombia's behavior in the 1980s led to long-term reputational benefits. Using an event study based on a large sudden stop, we find no evidence for such long-lasting reputational gains.