Bank Exposures and Sovereign Stress Transmission
Review of Finance
54 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2015 Last revised: 13 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 12, 2017
Using novel monthly data for 226 euro-area banks from 2007 to 2015, we investigate the determinants of banks' sovereign exposures and their effects on lending during and after the crisis. Public, bailed-out and poorly capitalized banks responded to sovereign stress by purchasing domestic public debt more than other banks, consistent with both the "moral suasion" and the "carry trade" hypothesis. Public banks' purchases grew especially in coincidence with the largest ECB liquidity injections, which therefore reinforced the "moral suasion" mechanism. Bank exposures significantly amplified the impact of sovereign stress on bank lending to domestic firms, as well as on lending by foreign subsidiaries of stressed-country banks to firms in non-stressed countries. Altogether, our evidence connects this amplification effect and its cross-border tramission to the moral suasion exerted by domestic governments on banks during the crisis.
Keywords: sovereign exposures, sovereign risk, bank lending, credit risk, euro, crisis
JEL Classification: E44, F3, G01, G21, H63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation