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Lenders of Last Resort in a Globalized World

  • Obstfeld, Maurice

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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7355.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7355
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," NBER Working Papers 14826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John B. Taylor & John C. Williams, 2009. "A black swan in the money market," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  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.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Edwin M. Truman, 2006. "Reforming the IMF for the 21st Century," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr19, May.
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