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Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati

Unlike the financial dollarization (FD) of external liabilities, the dollarization of domestic financial assets (domestic FD) has received comparatively less attention until very recently, when it has been increasingly seen as a key source of balance sheet exposure. This paper focuses on a complementary –and often overlooked– angle of domestic FD: the limit it imposes on the central bank as domestic lender of last resort, and the resulting exposure to dollar liquidity runs. The paper discusses the incidence of FD on banking crisis propensity, shows that FD has been an important motive for self insurance in the form of international reserves, and highlights the moral hazard associated with centralized reserve accumulation. Next, it illustrates the authorities’ belated recourse to suspension of convertibility in two recent banking crises (Argentina 2001 and Uruguay 2002). Finally, it argues for a combined scheme of decentralized reserves (liquid asset requirements on individual banks) to limit moral hazard, and an ex-ante suspension-of-convertibility clause (“circuit breakers”) to reduce self-insurance costs while limiting bank losses in the event of a run.

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Paper provided by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in its series Business School Working Papers with number liquid.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udt:wpbsdt:liquid
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Web page: http://www.utdt.edu/listado_contenidos.php?id_item_menu=4994

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  1. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Tokatlidis, Ioannis, 2005. "Dollar Shortages and Crises," MPRA Paper 832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tito Cordella & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "A (New) Country Insurance Facility," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, 05.
  3. Tito Cordella & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2004. "Country Insurance," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 290, Econometric Society.
  4. De Nicolo, Gianni & Honohan, Patrick & Ize, Alain, 2003. "Dollarization of the banking system : good or bad?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3116, The World Bank.
  5. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1997. "Financial fragility and the exchange rate regime," Working Paper 97-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International reserves: precautionary versus mercantilist views, theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. De la Torre, Augusto & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2003. "Living and dying with hard pegs : the rise and fall of Argentina's currency board," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2980, The World Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. Carlos O. Arteta, 2003. "Are financially dollarized countries more prone to costly crises?," International Finance Discussion Papers 763, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2005. "Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033348, June.
  11. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati, 2004. "FINANCIAL DOLLARIZATION: Evaluating the consequences," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 184, Econometric Society.
  12. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, . "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2003. "Excessive Dollar Debt: Financial Development and Underinsurance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 867-894, 04.
  14. Shah, Parth J, 1997. " The Option Clause in Free-Banking Theory and History: A Reappraisal," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 1-25.
  15. 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.
  16. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alain Ize & Miguel A. Kiguel, 2005. "Managing Systemic Liquidity Risk in Financially Dollarized Economies," IMF Working Papers 05/188, International Monetary Fund.
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