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The ECB as Lender of Last Resort:Banks versus Governments

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  • Adalbert Winkler

Abstract

With the OMT program the ECB has de facto taken over the role as a lender of last resort (LoLR) for euro area governments. While this has been welcomed by some, many policymakers and economists, in particular in Germany, have strongly criticized the ECB for taking this step, even though it has been motivated by the same monetary policy considerations as the ECB’s role as a LoLR for banks. This paper addresses four arguments that are used to explain why it is acceptable to have the ECB as a LoLR for banks, while a LoLR role for governments has to be rejected. Overall we find that the arguments fail to convince. At the same time, all of them suggest that decisive steps towards fiscal and banking union are needed for the ECB to act as a successful LoLR for governments in the medium and long term.

Suggested Citation

  • Adalbert Winkler, 2014. "The ECB as Lender of Last Resort:Banks versus Governments," FMG Special Papers sp228, Financial Markets Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgsps:sp228
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    1. John Joseph Wallis & Richard E. Sylla & Arthur Grinath III, 2004. "Sovereign Debt and Repudiation: The Emerging-Market Debt Crisis in the U.S. States, 1839-1843," NBER Working Papers 10753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Marvin Goodfriend, 2012. "The Elusive Promise of Independent Central Banking," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 30, pages 39-54, November.
    5. Goodfriend, Marvin, 2011. "Central banking in the credit turmoil: An assessment of Federal Reserve practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-12, January.
    6. Martin F. Hellwig, 2014. "Financial Stability, Monetary Policy, Banking Supervision, and Central Banking," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_09, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smeets Heinz-Dieter & Schmid Anita, 2014. "Europäische Staatsschuldenkrise, Lender of last resort und Bankenunion / European sovereign debt crisis, lender of last resort and banking union," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 47-74, January.
    2. Sebastian Hoffmann, 2019. "The Euro in Historical Comparison to the Ruble and the Influence of Overconfidence," European Journal of Marketing and Economics, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 2, EJME May .
    3. Hjalte Lokdam, 2020. "‘We Serve the People of Europe’: Reimagining the ECB's Political Master in the Wake of its Emergency Politics," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 978-998, July.
    4. Jorg Bibow, 2016. "From Antigrowth Bias to Quantitative Easing: The ECB's Belated Conversion?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_868, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Francesco Spadafora, 2019. "European integration in the time of mistrust," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 512, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Jorg Bibow, 2015. "The Euro's Savior? Assessing the ECB's Crisis Management Performance and Potential for Crisis Resolution," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_845, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Winkler Adalbert, 2018. "Zehn Jahre nach dem Konkurs von Lehman Brothers: Ordnungspolitische Irrtümer in der Bewertung der EZB-Geldpolitik seit der globalen Finanzkrise," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 141-162, July.
    8. Dirk Meyer, 2016. "Euro-Geldschöpfung durch die Mitgliedstaaten: Gefahren aus nationalem Zusatzgeld," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(06), pages 30-40, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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