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Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy

In: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati

Unlike the financial dollarization (FD) of external liabilities, the dollarization of domestic financial assets (domestic FD) has received comparatively less attention until very recently, when it has been increasingly seen as a key source of balance sheet exposure. This paper focuses on a complementary –and often overlooked– angle of domestic FD: the limit it imposes on the central bank as domestic lender of last resort, and the resulting exposure to dollar liquidity runs. The paper discusses the incidence of FD on banking crisis propensity, shows that FD has been an important motive for self insurance in the form of international reserves, and highlights the moral hazard associated with centralized reserve accumulation. Next, it illustrates the authorities’ belated recourse to suspension of convertibility in two recent banking crises (Argentina 2001 and Uruguay 2002). Finally, it argues for a combined scheme of decentralized reserves (liquid asset requirements on individual banks) to limit moral hazard, and an ex-ante suspension-of-convertibility clause (“circuit breakers”) to reduce self-insurance costs while limiting bank losses in the event of a run.

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This chapter was published in:
  • 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, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 4778.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:4778
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Tito Cordella & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2004. "Country Insurance," Business School Working Papers countryinsurance, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2004. "Dollar Shortages and Crises," NBER Working Papers 10845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Tito Cordella & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2005. "A (New) Country Insurance Facility," IMF Working Papers 05/23, International Monetary Fund.
    5. De la Torre, Augusto & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2003. "Living and dying with hard pegs : the rise and fall of Argentina's currency board," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2980, The World Bank.
    6. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 6469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, . "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    8. Carlos O. Arteta, 2003. "Are financially dollarized countries more prone to costly crises?," International Finance Discussion Papers 763, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2005. "Financial Dollarisation: Evaluating The Consequences," Business School Working Papers findollarisation, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    10. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
    11. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2005. "Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033348, June.
    12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2003. "Excessive Dollar Debt: Financial Development and Underinsurance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 867-894, 04.
    13. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries: Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Gianni De Nicoló & Patrick Honohan & Alain Ize, 2003. "Dollarization of the Banking System: Good or Bad?," IMF Working Papers 03/146, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alain Ize & Miguel A. Kiguel, 2005. "Managing Systemic Liquidity Risk in Financially Dollarized Economies," IMF Working Papers 05/188, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Shah, Parth J, 1997. " The Option Clause in Free-Banking Theory and History: A Reappraisal," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 1-25.
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