A Pyrrhic Victory? Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk

69 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011 Last revised: 1 Oct 2015

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Itamar Drechsler

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Philipp Schnabl

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 10, 2013

Abstract

We model a loop between sovereign and bank credit risk. A distressed financial sector induces government bailouts, whose cost leads to increased sovereign credit risk. Increased sovereign credit risk in turn weakens the financial sector by eroding the value of its government debt guarantees and bond holdings. Using credit default swaps (CDS) rates on European sovereigns and banks for 2007-11, we show that bailouts triggered the rise of sovereign credit risk. We document that post-bailout changes in sovereign CDS explain changes in bank CDS even after controlling for aggregate and bank-level determinants of credit spreads, confirming the sovereign-bank loop.

Keywords: Financial Crises, Sovereign Debt, Credit Default Swaps

JEL Classification: G21, G28, G38, E58, D62

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Drechsler, Itamar and Schnabl, Philipp, A Pyrrhic Victory? Bank Bailouts and Sovereign Credit Risk (December 10, 2013). Journal of Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1865465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1865465

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

Itamar Drechsler

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Philipp Schnabl (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/pschnabl/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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