Sovereign Collateral as a Trojan Horse: Why Do We Need an LCR+

54 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015  

Christian Buschmann

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management gemeinnützige GmbH

Christian Schmaltz

University of Aarhus; True North Institute

Date Written: October 5, 2015


Sovereign bonds are crucial for both sovereign funding and bank funding. Banks borrow in repo transactions against sovereign creditworthiness rather than their own creditworthiness. However, Basel III's current LCR does not address sovereign bond distress. Accordingly, currently compliant banks can be exposed to a neglected liquidity risk stemming from distressed sovereign debt moving through the collateral channel. This unaccounted risk can translate into a system wide liquidity shock. To gauge the potential damage caused by such a shock, we have developed a model in which sovereign distress triggers bank distress. Our model shows how deteriorating sovereign collateral can lead to an overall liquidity squeeze and non compliance with Basel III's liquidity standards. Since this risk is highly material, we conclude that LCR should address this event, and we call for an altered version - LCR+. LCR+ is the current LCR adjusted for the liquidity impact of sovereign distress.

Keywords: Sovereign distress, Collateral channel, Basel III, Liquidity Regulation

Suggested Citation

Buschmann, Christian and Schmaltz, Christian, Sovereign Collateral as a Trojan Horse: Why Do We Need an LCR+ (October 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Christian Buschmann (Contact Author)

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management gemeinnützige GmbH ( email )

Sonnemannstraße 9-11
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

Christian Schmaltz

University of Aarhus ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus, DK-8000

True North Institute ( email )

145-157 St. John Street
London, EC1V 4PY
United Kingdom
+49-17621761996 (Phone)


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