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Lenders of Last Resort in a Globalized World

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  • Maurice Obstfeld

    (Professor, University of California, Berkeley (E-mail: obstfeld@econ.berkeley.edu))

Abstract

The recent financial crisis teaches important lessons regarding the lender-of-last resort function. Large swap lines extended in 2007-08 from the Federal Reserve to other central banks show that the classic concept of a national last-resort lender fails to address key vulnerabilities in a globalized financial system with multiple currencies. What system of emergency international financial support will best help to minimize the likelihood of future economic instability? Acting alongside national central banks, the International Monetary Fund has a key role to play in the constellation of lenders of last resort. As the income-level and institutional divergence between emerging and mature economies shrinks over time, the IMF may even evolve into a global last- resort lender that channels central bank liquidity where it is needed. The IMF's effectiveness would be greatly enhanced by several complementary reforms in international financial governance, though some of these appear politically problematic at the present time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its series IMES Discussion Paper Series with number 09-E-18.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:09-e-18

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Keywords: Lender of Last Resort; Financial Crisis; Central Banking; International Monetary System; International Monetary Fund;

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References

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  1. Graciela Laura Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2008. "Short-Run Pain, Long-Run Gain: Financial Liberalization and Stock Market Cycles," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(2), pages 253-292.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 480-86, May.
  3. Joshua D. Coval & Jakub W. Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "Economic Catastrophe Bonds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 628-66, June.
  4. Gabriel Enrique Alberola & José María Serena, 2009. "Sovereign external assets and the resilience of global imbalances," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0834, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Charles Goodhart & Dirk Schoenmaker, 2009. "Fiscal Burden Sharing in Cross-Border Banking Crises," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(1), pages 141-165, March.
  6. Edwin M. Truman, 2006. "Reforming the IMF for the 21st Century," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr19.
  7. John B. Taylor & John C. Williams, 2009. "A black swan in the money market," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  8. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
  9. Naohiko Baba & Frank Packer & Teppei Nagano, 2008. "The spillover of money market turbulence to FX swap and cross-currency swap markets," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  10. Patrick McGuire & Goetz von Peter, 2009. "The US dollar shortage in global banking," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  11. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Financial Regulation in a System Context," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 229-274.
  12. Naohiko Baba & Robert N McCauley & Srichander Ramaswamy, 2009. "US dollar money market funds and non-US banks," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Schoenmaker & Arjen Siegmann, 2012. "Can European Bank Bailouts work?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-111/IV/DSF43, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld, 2010. "Expanding gross asset positions and the international monetary system," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-478.
  3. Dirk Schoenmaker & Arjen Siegmann, 2012. "Can European Bank Bailouts work?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-111/IV/DSF43, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Hiroshi Fujiki, 2010. "Policy Measures to Alleviate Foreign Currency Liquidity Shortages under Aggregate Risk with Moral Hazard," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-04, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2008. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," NBER Working Papers 14217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2010. "The immoderate world economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 603-614, June.
  7. Mohamed Z. M. Aazim & Nawalage S. Cooray, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Yield Curve Dynamics in an Emerging Market: Sri Lankan Perspectives," Working Papers EMS_2010_11, Research Institute, International University of Japan.

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