How Do Political Factors Shape the Bank Risk-Sovereign Risk Nexus in Emerging Markets?
Review of Development Economics,
This paper studies the role of political factors for determining the impact of banking sector distress on sovereign bond yield spreads for a sample of 19 emerging market economies in the period 1994–2013. Using interaction models, I find that the adverse impact of banking sector distress on sovereign solvency is less pronounced for countries with a high degree of political stability, a high level of power sharing within the government coalition, a low level of political constraint within the political system, and for countries run by powerful and effective governments. The electoral cycle pronounces the bank risk–sovereign risk transfer.
06.07.2017 • 28/2017
Politicians share responsibility for the risk of their state defaulting
Investors assume higher risks of default when a country is politically unstable or governed by a party at the left or right end of the political spectrum. However, according to findings obtained by Stefan Eichler from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the more democratic the country is and the more it is integrated into the global economy, the lower is the impact that such political factors have.
Read press release
Politische Determinanten staatlicher Ausfallrisiken
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Staatliche Zahlungsausfälle haben nicht selten politische Ursachen. Während ökonomische Rahmenbedingungen wie etwa Wirtschaftswachstum, Finanzstabilität oder globale Investorenstimmungen die Zahlungsfähigkeit eines Staates beeinflussen, wird die tatsächliche Rückzahlung von Staatsschulden letztendlich von der einheimischen Regierung entschieden. Die Zahlungswilligkeit einer Regierung spielt daher eine entscheidende Rolle für das Risiko eines staatlichen Zahlungsausfalls. In diesem Artikel wird der Einfluss politischer Faktoren auf das staatliche Ausfallrisiko für 27 Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländer im Zeitraum von 1996 bis 2009 untersucht. Die Auswertung von Anleihedaten zeigt, dass Investoren ein höheres Ausfallrisiko fürchten, falls ein Land politisch instabil ist oder von einer Rechts- bzw. Linkspartei regiert wird. Der Einfluss politischer Faktoren auf das staatliche Ausfallrisiko eines Landes sinkt mit dessen Grad an Demokratie und Integration in die Weltwirtschaft.
The Political Determinants of Government Bond Holdings
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper analyzes the link between political factors and sovereign bond holdings of US investors in 60 countries over the 2003–2013 period. We find that, in general, US investors hold more bonds in countries with few political constraints on the government. Moreover, US investors respond to increased uncertainty around major elections by reducing government bond holdings. These effects are particularly significant in democratic regimes and countries with sound institutions, which enable effective implementation of fiscal consolidation measures or economic reforms. In countries characterized by high current default risk or a sovereign default history, US investors show a tendency towards favoring higher political constraints as this makes sovereign default more difficult for the government. Political instability, characterized by the fluctuation in political veto players, reduces US investment in government bonds. This effect is more pronounced in countries with low sovereign solvency.
Banks and Sovereign Risk: A Granular View
Journal of Financial Stability,
We investigate the determinants of sovereign bond holdings of German banks and the implications of such holdings for bank risk. We use granular information on all German banks and all sovereign debt exposures in the years 2005–2013. As regards the determinants of sovereign bond holdings of banks, we find that these are larger for weakly capitalized banks, banks that are active on capital markets, and for large banks. Yet, only around two thirds of all German banks hold sovereign bonds. Macroeconomic fundamentals were significant drivers of sovereign bond holdings only after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. With the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis, German banks reallocated their portfolios toward sovereigns with lower debt ratios and bonds with lower yields. With regard to the implications for bank risk, we find that low-risk government bonds decreased the risk of German banks, especially for savings and cooperative banks. Holdings of high-risk government bonds, in turn, increased the risk of commercial banks during the sovereign debt crisis.
Much Ado About Nothing: Sovereign Ratings and Government Bond Yields in the OECD
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper, we propose a new method to assess the impact of sovereign ratings on sovereign bond yields. We estimate the impulse response of the interest rate, following a change in the rating. Since ratings are ordinal and moreover extremely persistent, it proves difficult to estimate those impulse response functions using a VAR modeling ratings, yields and other macroeconomic indicators. However, given the highly stochastic nature of the precise timing of ratings, we can treat most rating adjustments as shocks. We thus no longer rely on a VAR for shock identification, making the estimation of the corresponding IRFs well suited for so called local projections – that is estimating impulse response functions through a series of separate direct forecasts over different horizons. Yet, the rare occurrence of ratings makes impulse response functions estimated through that procedure highly sensitive to individual observations, resulting in implausibly volatile impulse responses. We propose an augmentation to restrict jointly estimated local projections in a way that produces economically plausible impulse response functions.