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Sub-sovereign bonds in banks’ portfolios: A role for political connections?

Alexander Popov ()

Research Bulletin, 2018, vol. 42

Abstract: This article shows that German savings banks appear to increase their holdings of bonds issued by their respective Bundesland (federal state) government if as a result of an election, the local governments at Bundesland and at Kreis (county) level are no longer dominated by the same party. This behaviour is not consistent with other known reasons why banks hold government debt, such as compliance with regulation, the tendency to accumulate risky assets when close to bankruptcy, or political pressure. Instead, we argue that in the wake of a post-election loss of political connections along party lines, local government-owned banks use purchases of sub-sovereign bonds to keep communication channels with state politicians open, a mechanism akin to lobbying. JEL Classification: G21, H63, P16

Keywords: government-owned banks; Political connections; sub-sovereign debt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-01
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