NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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A Global Safe Asset for and from Emerging Market Economies

Markus K. Brunnermeier, Lunyang Huang

NBER Working Paper No. 25373
Issued in December 2018
NBER Program(s):Asset Pricing Program, Corporate Finance Program, International Finance and Macroeconomics Program, The Monetary Economics Program

This paper examines how a newly designed global safe asset can mitigate international capital flows induced by flight-to-safety. In the model domestic investors have to co-invest in a safe asset along with their physical capital. At times of crisis, investors replace the initially safe domestic government bonds with safe US Treasuries and re-sell part of their capital. The reduction in physical capital lowers GDP and tax revenue, leading to increased default risk justifying the loss of the government bond's safe-asset status. We compare two ways to mitigate this self-fulfilling scenario. In the “buffer approach” international reserve holding reduces the severity of a crisis. In the “rechannelling approach” flight-to-safety capital flows are rechannelled from international cross-border flows to flows across two EME asset classes. The two asset classes are the senior and junior bond of tranched portfolio of EME sovereign bonds.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25373

 
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