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Liquidity, Government Bonds and Sovereign Debt Crises

Francesco Molteni ()

Working Papers from CEPII research center

Abstract: This paper analyses the European financial crisis through the lens of sovereign bond liquidity. Using novel data we show that government securities are the prime collateral in the European repo market, which is becoming an essential source of funding for the banking system in the Euro area. We document that repo haircuts on peripheral government bonds sharply increased during the crisis, reducing their liquidity and amplifying the raise in the yields of these securities. We study the systemic impact of a liquidity shock on the business cycle and asset prices through a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with liquidity frictions. The model predicts a drop in economic activity, inflation and value of illiquid government bonds. We show that an unconventional policy which consists of purchasing illiquid bonds by issuing liquid bonds can alleviate the contractionary effect of liquidity shock. A Bayesian structural vector autoregressive model for the Irish economy confirms empirically the negative impact of a rise in haircuts on the value of government bonds.

Keywords: repo; haircuts; government bonds; liquidity shock; quantitative easing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E44 E58 G12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-dge, nep-eec and nep-mac
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cii:cepidt:2015-32

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