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Sovereign Debt Portfolios, Bond Risks, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy

Wenxin Du, Carolin E. Pflueger and Jesse Schreger

Journal of Finance, 2020, vol. 75, issue 6, 3097-3138

Abstract: We document that governments whose local currency debt provides them with greater hedging benefits actually borrow more in foreign currency. We introduce two features into a government's debt portfolio choice problem to explain this finding: risk‐averse lenders and lack of monetary policy commitment. A government without commitment chooses excessively countercyclical inflation ex post, which leads risk‐averse lenders to require a risk premium ex ante. This makes local currency debt too expensive from the government's perspective and thereby discourages the government from borrowing in its own currency.

Date: 2020
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