The recent increase of interest rate spreads in Europe and their apparent detachment from underlying fundamental variables has generated a debate on multiple equilibria in the sovereign bond market (see De Grauwe and Ji (2012)). We critically evaluate this hypothesis, by pointing towards an alternative explanation: the increasing share of senior lenders (IMF, ECB, EFSF, etc.) in the total outstanding government debt of countries in crisis. We illustrate the close relationship between senior tranche lending - including Target2 balances - and recent developments in the sovereign bond market, both graphically and in a formal regression analysis.
government bond spreads Eurozone senior tranche lending multiple equilibria sovereign debt crisis Target2