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

Listed author(s):
  • Joshua Aizenman

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

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).

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File URL: http://www.eaber.org/node/23008
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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Finance Working Papers with number 23008.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Handle: RePEc:eab:financ:23008
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JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200

Web page: http://www.eaber.org

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  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain, 2009. "Selective Swap Arrangements and the Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Interpretation," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2vw7s14s, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4f63x50j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. 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.
  4. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2007. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup’s Wardrobe and the Joneses," CESifo Working Paper Series 2065, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2001. "Smoothing Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 8427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Romain Ranciere & Olivier D Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries; Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2009. "Bretton Woods II Still Defines the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 14731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Joshua Aizenman, 2010. "Hoarding international reserves versus a Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy scheme: Reflections on the deleveraging crisis of 2008-9, and a cost benefit analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
  10. Joshua Aizenman & Yeonho Lee & Yeongseop Rhee, 2004. "International Reserves Management and Capital Mobility in a Volatile World: Policy Considerations and a Case Study of Korea," NBER Working Papers 10534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Ronald Ian McKinnon, 2007. "The US current account deficits and the dollar standard’s sustainability: A monetary approach," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 12-23, 01.
  13. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Working Papers 12345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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 401-419, June.
  15. Joshua Aizenman & Yi Sun, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and Sizable International Reserves Depletion: From 'Fear of Floating' to the 'Fear of Losing International Reserves'?," Working Papers 382009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The social cost of foreign exchange reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 253-266.
  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. 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.
  20. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2009. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From ‘fear of floating’ to the ‘fear of losing international reserves’?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6rf4r8v8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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