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No 1133:
The Sovereign-Bank Diabolic Loop and Esbies

David Thesmar (), Markus K Brunnermeier, Luis Garicano, Philip R Lane, Marco Pagano, Ricardo Reis, Tano Santos, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh and Dimitri Vayanos

Abstract: We propose a simple model of the sovereign-bank diabolic loop, and establish four results. First, the diabolic loop can be avoided by restricting banks’ domestic sovereign exposures relative to their equity. Second, equity requirements can be lowered if banks only hold senior domestic sovereign debt. Third, such requirements shrink even further if banks only hold the senior tranche of an internationally diversified sovereign portfolio – known as ESBies in the euro-area context. Finally, ESBies generate more safe assets than domestic debt tranching alone; and, insofar as the diabolic loop is defused, the junior tranche generated by the securitization is itself risk-free.

Keywords: diabolic loop; sovereign debt crisis; government default; bank default; bailout; ESBies; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: G18; G21; (follow links to similar papers)

14 pages, May 12, 2016

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