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

  • 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
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Handle: RePEc:eab:financ:23008
Contact details of provider: Postal: 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. 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.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, . "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  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. 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.
  6. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Working Papers 12345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  8. 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 Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt65p8p9qq, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The social cost of foreign exchange reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 253-266.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2004. "Smoothing sudden stops," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 104-127, November.
  16. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2009. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt840728sc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  17. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2010. "Selective swap arrangements and the global financial crisis: Analysis and interpretation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 353-365, June.
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