The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
As a monetary, selective credit, and government debt-management instrument, a liquid asset ratio is generally inefficient and may introduce serious distortions. However, it may play a limited role as a prudential instrument, particularly in less sophisticated banking systems or in the context of currency board arrangements. Recent trends in the use of this instrument have been to either abolish it altogether or to design it so as to minimize distortions. When necessary, these changes have been part of a broader effort to make financial intermediation more efficient by relying more on markets and less on regulations.