Years of quantitative easing by the ECB have suppressed sovereign yields to historic lows. This has contributed to a shadow banking boom, as market participants invested heavily in various private asset constructions. This column argues that the coronavirus shock poses a serious liquidity risk for the shadow banking sector, where significant funding has been extended on the basis of cash flow rather than real collateral. Avoiding financial panic is key, and will require liquidity support as well as targeted fiscal measures.
By Enrico Perotti