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

  • Aizenman, Joshua

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

In this paper the author reviews 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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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 192.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 05 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0192
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  1. 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.
  2. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," Business School Working Papers liquid, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  3. 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 401-19, June.
  4. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-214, April.
  6. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Yeonho & Rhee, Youngseop, 2007. "International reserves management and capital mobility in a volatile world: Policy considerations and a case study of Korea," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-15, March.
  7. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers 5483, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2004. "Smoothing sudden stops," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 104-127, November.
  9. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Park, Donghyun, 2011. "International reserves and swap lines: Substitutes or complements?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 5-18, January.
  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. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Joshua Aizenman & Yi Sun, 2009. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From 'fear of floating' to the 'fear of losing international reserves'?," NBER Working Papers 15308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ronald Ian McKinnon, 2007. "The US current account deficits and the dollar standard’s sustainability: A monetary approach," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 12-23, 01.
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