Marlene Amstad, Eli Remolona, Jimmy Shek, 28 October 2017

Global investors are assumed to differentiate between economies using economic fundamentals. This column uses returns on sovereign CDS contracts for 18 emerging markets and ten advanced countries to argue that fundamentals do not drive these decisions. Instead, most of the variation across sovereigns reflects whether or not the country is designated as an 'emerging market'. Investment strategies tend simply to replicate benchmark portfolios.

Markus K Brunnermeier, Sam Langfield, Marco Pagano, Ricardo Reis, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, Dimitri Vayanos, 20 September 2016

The Eurozone lacks a safe asset that is provided by the region as a whole. This column highlights why and how European Safe Bonds, a union-wide safe asset without joint liability, would resolve this problem, and outlines steps to put them into practice. For given sovereign default probabilities, these bonds would be as safe as German bunds and would approximately double the supply of euro safe assets. Moreover, owing to general equilibrium effects, they would weaken the diabolic loop between sovereign risk and bank risk.

Giorgio Barba Navaretti, Giacomo Calzolari, Alberto Pozzolo, 15 July 2016

Eurozone countries are facing a stalemate in the completion of the Banking Union, at the heart of which is the regulation of banks’ sovereign exposures. This column introduces the latest issue of European Economy, which examines the interactions between banks and sovereign risk, the build up of sovereign risk during the crisis, and the policy proposals on the table to severe the loop and, more broadly, to finally complete the Banking Union.

Daniel Gros, 12 February 2016

The Eurozone’s ‘Banking Union’ created a system of banking supervision and a common institution to restructure troubled banks. There remain two issues, however, that need to be addressed:  banks are holding too much debt of their own sovereign, and deposit insurance is only backstopped at the national level. This column argues that these issues need to be addressed simultaneously for economic and political reasons. Specifically, periphery and core countries hold opposing positions on remedies to the respective problems. A combination of the two makes economic sense and could represent an acceptable political compromise.

Roland Beck, Arnaud Mehl, 26 July 2013

The intensification of the crisis has led to concerns about a possible shortage of global safe assets. At the same time, major reserve-currency issuers are losing their AAA-rating. This column considers new evidence on the recent rise of non-traditional currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars in global reserve portfolios. Evidence suggests that sovereign risk in advanced economies typically considered as safe is a key determinant of the growing importance of non-traditional reserve currencies.

Chiara Angeloni, Guntram Wolff, 19 April 2012

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has reignited the debate over the link between sovereign and banking risk. This column presents data from the July stress test and December Capital Exercise of European Banking Authority. It finds that holdings of sovereign debt is not the main driver of bank stock market performance but that investors do take into account the riskiness of sovereign debt in the bank’s host country.

Joshua Aizenman, Yothin Jinjarak, Michael Hutchison, 08 September 2011

Bond markets provide sleepless nights for even the most powerful of political leaders. This column estimates the pricing of sovereign risk for over 60 countries during the last five years. It finds that fiscal space and other macroeconomic factors are important determinants of market prices of sovereign risk. But when looking at the Eurozone crisis, it finds that the market is excessively pessimistic.

Silvia Sgherri, Edda Zoli, 17 November 2009

Can euro-area governments cushion the impact of the crisis without damaging market perceptions of their fiscal sustainability? This column suggests that euro-area sovereign spreads have typically reflected a common factor that mimics global risk repricing, not country-specific solvency concerns. But in the last year, market sentiments seem to have shifted to concerns about fragile national financial sectors and future debt dynamics.

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