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Procyclicality in Central Bank Reserve Management; Evidence from the Crisis

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  • Jukka Pihlman
  • Han van der Hoorn

Abstract

A decade-long diversification of official reserves into riskier investments came to an abrupt end at the beginning of the global financial crisis, when many central bank reserve managers started to withdraw their deposits from the banking sector in an apparent flight to quality and safety. We estimate that reserve managers pulled around US$500 billion of deposits and other investments from the banking sector. Although clearly not the main cause, this procyclical investment behavior is likely to have contributed to the funding problems of the banking sector, which required offsetting measures by other central banks such as the Federal Reserve and Eurosystem central banks. The behavior highlights a potential conflict between the reserve management and financial stability mandates of central banks. This paper analyzes reserve managers’ actions during the crisis and draws some lessons for strategic asset allocation of reserves going forward.

Suggested Citation

  • Jukka Pihlman & Han van der Hoorn, 2010. "Procyclicality in Central Bank Reserve Management; Evidence from the Crisis," IMF Working Papers 10/150, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/150
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew J. Filardo & Pierre L. Siklos, 2016. "Prolonged Reserves Accumulation, Credit Booms, Asset Prices and Monetary Policy in Asia," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 364-381, February.
    2. Allen, William A. & Moessner, Richhild, 2012. "The international propagation of the financial crisis of 2008 and a comparison with 1931," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 123-147, August.
    3. Richhild Moessner & William A. Allen, 2011. "Las crisis bancarias y el sistema monetario internacional en la Gran Depresión y en la actualidad," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 13(25), pages 43-87, July-Dece.
    4. Stefano Ugolini, 2011. "Foreign exchange reserve management in the 19th century: The National Bank of Belgium in the 1850s," Working Paper 2011/07, Norges Bank.
    5. Ghosh, Amit, 2016. "What drives gold demand in central bank's foreign exchange reserve portfolio?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 146-150.
    6. Lukas Menkhoff, 2013. "Foreign Exchange Intervention in Emerging Markets: A Survey of Empirical Studies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(9), pages 1187-1208, September.
    7. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:04:y:2013:i:01:n:s1793993313500063 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Amit Ghosh, 2016. "Determinants of Gold Demand in Reserve Bank of India's foreign exchange reserve portfolio," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, issue 4, pages 1929-1937.

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