Abstract

We are told that the phrase “lender of last resort” (LOLR) originated as a lawyer’s phrase.1 However, the term certainly does not aspire to legal precision: LOLR is “a term often used and less often defined.”2 This imprecision is understandable. The LOLR function has evolved with time, and today’s central banks face problems very different from those of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.