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Chart 1 shows the interest rate spreads, measured at the time of issuance of the bond, for all non-benchmark EU15 government bonds issued between May 1990 and May 2009 in deutschmark/euro and dollar for which data were available.
The sharp increase in financing costs for governments has raised some concerns that financial markets do not price the risk underlying certain government bonds appropriately.
In high-deficit and high-debt countries (notably Ireland and Greece), the deterioration in fiscal positions on account of the crisis contributed most to the bond spread increase (‘crisis-fiscal’).
If fiscal factors have become more important, the benefits of a common bond issuance become very uncertain due to the adverse incentive effects such a bond would create.
That is, a country could get away with low fiscal discipline without being “punished” with a higher cost of borrowing by financial markets. Interest rate spreads for EU central governments (In basis-points) Figure 2 shows the relative contribution of fiscal variables and of risk aversion to the estimated spreads prevailing since the start of the crisis for the bonds issued.