This paper analyses whether the introduction of capital requirements for bank government bond holdings increases financial stability by making the banking sector more resilient to sovereign debt crises. Using a theoretical model, we show that a sudden increase in sovereign default risk may lead to liquidity issues in the banking sector. Our model reveals that in combination with a central bank acting as a lender of last resort, capital requirements for government bonds increase the shock-absorbing capacity of the banking sector and thus the financial stability. The driving force is a regulation-induced change in bank investment behaviour.
bank capital regulation government bonds sovereign risk financial contagion lender of last resort.