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Ms. Deniz O Igan, Mr. Taehoon Kim, and Antoine Levy
State-contingent debt instruments such as GDP-linked warrants have garnered attention as a potential tool to help debt-stressed economies smooth repayments over business cycles, yet very few studies of the empirical properties of these instruments exist. This paper develops a general f ramework to estimate the time-varying risk premium of a state-contingent sovereign debt instrument. Our estimation framework applied to GDP-linked warrants issued by Argentina, Greece, and Ukraine reveals three stylized facts: (i) the risk premium in state-contingent instruments is high and persistent; (ii) the risk premium exhibits a pro-cyclical pattern; and (iii) the liquidity premium is higher and more volatile than that for plain-vanilla government bonds issued by the same sovereign. We then present a model in which investors fear ambiguity and that can account for the cyclical properties of the risk premium.
Charles Cohen, S. M. Ali Abbas, Anthony Myrvin, Tom Best, Mr. Peter Breuer, Hui Miao, Ms. Alla Myrvoda, and Eriko Togo
The COVID-19 crisis may lead to a series of costly and inefficient sovereign debt restructurings. Any such restructurings will likely take place during a period of great economic uncertainty, which may lead to protracted negotiations between creditors and debtors over recovery values, and potentially even relapses into default post-restructuring. State-contingent debt instruments (SCDIs) could play an important role in improving the outcomes of these restructurings.
International Monetary Fund
There have been significant developments in sovereign debt restructuring involving private-sector creditors since the IMF’s last stocktaking in 2014. While the current contractual approach has been largely effective in resolving sovereign debt cases since 2014, it has gaps that could pose challenges in future restructurings.
Kay Chung and Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou
This paper analyzes the effects of including collective action clauses (CACs) and enhanced CACs in international (nondomestic law-governed) sovereign bonds on sovereigns’ borrowing costs, using secondary-market bond yield spreads. Our findings indicate that inclusion of enhanced CACs, introduced in August 2014, is associated with lower borrowing costs for both noninvestment-grade and investment-grade issuers. These results suggest that market participants do not associate the use of CACs and enhanced CACs with borrowers’ moral hazard, but instead consider their implied benefits of an orderly and efficient debt resolution process in case of restructuring.
Dunhong Jin, Marcin Kacperczyk, Bige Kahraman, and Felix Suntheim
How to prevent runs on open-end mutual funds? In recent years, markets have observed an innovation that changed the way open-end funds are priced. Alternative pricing rules (known as swing pricing) adjust funds’ net asset values to pass on funds’ trading costs to transacting shareholders. Using unique data on investor transactions in U.K. corporate bond funds, we show that swing pricing eliminates the first-mover advantage arising from the traditional pricing rule and significantly reduces redemptions during stress periods. The positive impact of alternative pricing rules on fund flows reverses in calm periods when costs associated with higher tracking error dominate the pricing effect.
Mr. Bas B. Bakker, Marta Korczak, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski
In the last decade, over half of the EU countries in the euro area or with currencies pegged to the euro were hit by large risk premium shocks. Previous papers have focused on the impact of these shocks on demand. This paper, by contrast, focuses on the impact on supply. We show that risk premium shocks reduce the output level that maximizes profit. They also lead to unemployment surges, as firms are forced to cut costs when financing becomes expensive or is no longer available. As a result, all countries with risk premium shocks saw unemployment surge, even as euro area core countries managed to contain unemployment as firms hoarded labor during the downturn. Most striking, wage bills in euro area crisis countries and the Baltics declined even faster than GDP, whereas in core euro area countries wage shares actually increased.
Ms. Julianne Ams, Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Wolfgang Bergthaler, Ms. Chanda M DeLong, Ms. Nouria El Mehdi, Mr. Mark J Flanagan, Mr. Sean Hagan, Ms. Yan Liu, Charlotte J. Lundgren, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Mr. Gustavo Pinto, and Mr. Eric Robert

Abstract

“The IMF’s Role in the Prevention and Resolution of Sovereign Debt Crises” provides a guided narrative to the IMF’s policy papers on sovereign debt produced over the last 40 years. The papers are divided into chapters, tracking four historical phases: the 1980s debt crisis; the Mexican crisis and the design of policies to ensure adequate private sector involvement (“creditor bail-in”); the Argentine crisis and the search for a durable crisis resolution framework; and finally, the global financial crisis, the Eurozone crisis, and their aftermaths.

Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, Caio Ferreira, Nigel Jenkinson, Mr. Luc Laeven, Alberto Martin, Ms. Camelia Minoiu, and Alex Popov
This paper reviews empirical and theoretical work on the links between banks and their governments (the bank-sovereign nexus). How significant is this nexus? What do we know about it? To what extent is it a source of concern? What is the role of policy intervention? The paper concludes with a review of recent policy proposals.
Mr. Anil Ari
I propose a dynamic general equilibrium model in which strategic interactions between banks and depositors may lead to endogenous bank fragility and slow recovery from crises. When banks' investment decisions are not contractible, depositors form expectations about bank risk-taking and demand a return on deposits according to their risk. This creates strategic complementarities and possibly multiple equilibria: in response to an increase in funding costs, banks may optimally choose to pursue risky portfolios that undermine their solvency prospects. In a bad equilibrium, high funding costs hinder the accumulation of bank net worth, leading to a persistent drop in investment and output. I bring the model to bear on the European sovereign debt crisis, in the course of which under-capitalized banks in defaultrisky countries experienced an increase in funding costs and raised their holdings of domestic government debt. The model is quantified using Portuguese data and accounts for macroeconomic dynamics in Portugal in 2010-2016. Policy interventions face a trade-off between alleviating banks' funding conditions and strengthening risk-taking incentives. Liquidity provision to banks may eliminate the good equilibrium when not targeted. Targeted interventions have the capacity to eliminate adverse equilibria.