Bank lending rules for managing sovereign risk

Document Type


Publication Date



College of Business


A simple domestic lending rule is one that ensures that the loan rate exceeds the bank's cost of capital and the borrower's expected cashflows exceed the terminal value of the loan. Because a sovereign loan is not collateralized and lacks recourse, the domestic lending rule is not adequate for making sovereign lending decisions. Three modifications are suggested. First, the sovereign borrower's time preference for consumption needs to be considered. Second, the domestic borrower's decision to default voluntarily is made after observing the value of the collateral whereas the sovereign borrower's decision is made after observing earnings. In this paper, the sovereign borrower upgrades expectations in a Bayesian manner. Although no lending rule will completely prevent a default, the probability of default can be managed leading to a third modification.

Publication Title

Journal of Economics and Finance