Mr. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Mr. Alain Ize, and Miguel A. Kiguel
This paper evaluates ways to protect highly dollarized banking systems from systemic liquidity runs (such as the ones that took place recently in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay). In view of the limitations of available (private or official) insurance schemes, and the distortions introduced by central bank lending of last resort (LOLR), the authors favor decentralized liquid foreign asset requirements on dollar deposits, supplemented by a scheme of "circuit breakers." The latter combines the use of limited dollar liquidity to ensure the convertibility of transactional deposits with a mechanism that automatically limits the convertibility of dollar term deposits once triggered by a predetermined decline in banks' liquidity.
Central banks and other public financial institutions act as agents of fiscal policy in many countries. Their "quasi-fiscal" operations and activities can affect the overall public sector balance without affecting the budget deficit as conventionally measured, may also have important allocative effects, and increase the effective size of the public sector. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic and financial effects of such quasi-fiscal activities, as well as the taxes, subsidies, and other expenditures that such activities introduce outside the budget. Measurement and accounting issues are addressed, and policy recommendations are offered.