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International Reserves and Swap Lines in Times of Financial Distress: Overview and Interpretations

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  • Joshua Aizenman

Abstract

In this paper I review the use of precautionary measures aimed at mitigating emerging markets’ exposure to fragility associated with financial integration. The discussion draws possible lessons from the ongoing global liquidity crisis. The fear of losing international reserves (IR) constrained most emerging markets more than the fear of floating. The fear of using IR during a crisis suggests that emerging markets (EMs) opt to revisit the gains from financial globalization. High levels of IR may be required for the self insurance offered by those reserves to be effective. Under such circumstances, countries may benefit by supplementing the hoarding of IR with Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy policies. These policies would reduce external borrowing, and would fund the marginal hoarding of IR. The fear of losing IR also suggests a greater demand for regional pooling arrangements and swap lines as well as possible new roles for international financial institutions (IFI). [ADBI Working Paper 192]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:3022.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3022

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Keywords: precautionary measures; markets; international reserves; financial globalization;

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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Yi Sun, 2009. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From 'fear of floating' to the 'fear of losing international reserves'?," NBER Working Papers 15308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Working Papers 12345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Donghyun Park, 2010. "International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements?," NBER Working Papers 15804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua Aizenman & Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2009. "Selective Swap Arrangements and the Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 14821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Márcio G. P. Garcia, 2008. "Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa05-1, October.
  7. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  8. Joshua Aizenman, 2009. "Hoarding International Reserves Versus a Pigovian Tax-Cum-Subsidy Scheme: Reflections on the Deleveraging Crisis of 2008-9, and a Cost Benefit Analysis," NBER Working Papers 15484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  11. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2tn4w8x6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  12. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2009. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup's Wardrobe and the Joneses," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 824-843, 09.
  13. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers 5483, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Yeonho & Rhee, Yeongseop, 2004. "International reserves management and capital mobility in a volatile world: Policy considerations and a case study of Korea," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt1867f7ng, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  15. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Currency Mismatches, Debt Intolerance and Original Sin: Why They Are Not the Same and Why it Matters," NBER Working Papers 10036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Paul Krugman, 2000. "Fire-Sale FDI," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 43-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Marc Flandreau & Clemens Jobst, 2009. "The Empirics of International Currencies: Network Externalities, History and Persistence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 643-664, 04.
  18. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2008. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," NBER Working Papers 14533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2009. "Bretton Woods Ii Still Defines The International Monetary System," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 297-311, 08.
  20. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2001. "Smoothing Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 8427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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