Volume 52, September/October 2017, Number 5 · pp. 308-314
Can a Reliable Framework for Sovereign-Backed Securities Be Established?
The European Commission has proposed the introduction of sovereign-backed securities (SBSs) as a class of safe assets for the euro area. SBSs are generated by an issuing agency that would purchase a representative portfolio of national sovereign bonds from the euro area. Purchases are financed by issuing (at least) two types of structured bonds: a risk-free senior SBS tranche and a risky junior SBS tranche. Overall, we recognise that the SBS concept has the potential to improve financial stability and financial integration in the euro area. However, we highlight several potentially severe technical and political problems. Most important for the SBS concept to function properly are the de-privileging of national sovereign bonds in bank regulation, rules to ensure conditionality in times of crisis and measures to prevent disincentives for national public finances. If such conditions remain elusive, we advise against the introduction of SBSs.
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