Relationship Networks in Banking Around a Sovereign Default and Currency Crisis
66 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2019
Date Written: 2019-10-29
We study how banks' exposure to a sovereign crisis gets transmitted onto the corporate sector. To do so we use data on the universe of banks and firms in Argentina during the crisis of 2001. We build a model characterized by matching frictions in which firms establish (long-term) relationships with banks that are subject to balance sheet disruptions. Credit relationships with banks more exposed to the crisis suffer the most. However, this relationship-level effect overstates the true cost of the crisis since profitable firms (e.g., exporters after a devaluation) might find it optimal to switch lenders, reducing the negative impact on overall credit and activity. Using linked bank-firm and firm-level data we find evidence largely consistent with our theory.
Keywords: Sovereign Default, Devaluation, Bank networks
JEL Classification: E32, G21, H63, N26
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