Sovereign GDP-linked bonds
James Benford, Thomas Best and Mark Joy, Bank of England, with contributions from Mark Kruger, Bank of Canada, and the Research Department, Central Bank of Argentina
While the idea of governments issuing financial instruments whose repayments are indexed to gross domestic product (GDP) is not new, the current global backdrop of high sovereign debt coupled with low interest rates and weak and uncertain nominal growth prospects suggests the case for doing so may be especially strong now. This paper discusses the pros and cons of GDP-linked bonds, looks at when it might be most beneficial to issue, how investors might benefit, and possible ways of addressing the first-mover problem. The aim of this paper is to stimulate debate rather than provide answers.