My comments today, and I will use the normal reservation of speakers, are my own. I have written on this topic—sovereign immunity and central bank immunity in the United States—in an article1 in which, again, the views expressed were my own and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And in my presentation today, I do not want to get too deeply into the technical aspects of sovereign immunity itself, which are spelled out in the article. I would like to highlight some of those issues. What I hope I can add are a few practical suggestions, drawn from our experience over the past several years with respect to sovereign immunity.

My comments today, and I will use the normal reservation of speakers, are my own. I have written on this topic—sovereign immunity and central bank immunity in the United States—in an article1 in which, again, the views expressed were my own and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And in my presentation today, I do not want to get too deeply into the technical aspects of sovereign immunity itself, which are spelled out in the article. I would like to highlight some of those issues. What I hope I can add are a few practical suggestions, drawn from our experience over the past several years with respect to sovereign immunity.

I would like to share with you the reason, besides the fact that there was a specific provision in the statute, that I developed an interest in the subject. Because of the emotional circumstances surrounding the recent Iranian litigation in the United States, I was concerned that the law might not be developing properly, since a judge’s judgment can, on occasion, be colored by emotions or politics. I felt a more objective analysis than had appeared in some of the briefs filed in connection with that litigation was desirable.

One of the initial issues which surfaced concerned when the central bank or monetary authority was a sovereign. Our own bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has private shareholders. It pays a dividend. It has a board of nine directors: six are elected by shareholders and three are appointed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Does the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have sovereign immunity? That may depend upon how one approaches the scope of immunity. How does one identify what a central bank or monetary authority is? I would guess that we all know one when we see one, but what criteria should be used? Why should a central bank or monetary authority be linked to sovereignty? In the United States, a Federal Reserve Bank has no general immunity; that has been waived by statute. But it would have immunity under the United Kingdom’s statute. EVEN the waiver in the United States for the Federal Reserve Banks is not, as discussed below, a total waiver. What is the current state of the law in the United States? And, perhaps, what should the law be? Is there a way to distinguish between central banking activities and commercial activities? This last question raises an issue that I will leave for Mr. Debevoise to develop. Perhaps you will want to share with us your experiences of the state of the law in your own countries.

How does one approach this issue, as a practical matter? In our bank, the issue would arise when someone delivers an order of attachment. These orders are issued not to obtain jurisdiction over the foreign central bank or monetary authority but, instead, to freeze assets, to ensure that there are assets available for payment of a judgment if one is obtained. Often we are unaware of the litigation. In one case, judgment was entered against a foreign central bank which defaulted by not appearing. The next thing we learned was that someone had served the attachment. How do we react when we receive such an order? The first action we take is to honor the order, at least initially, until it can be determined whether it is valid. We try to segregate some assets. Generally, we will try to segregate an asset other than funds in our depositor’s funds account. We would try to avoid creating a situation where a depositor is unable to make scheduled payments on a given day. If there were securities investments, we would apply the attachment against those securities. Our objective would be to use other assets before the funds account was blocked, so that our customer’s business could be kept as orderly as possible. At the same time, we would telex or fax to the depositor a copy of the order and suggest that the depositor consult with local U.S. counsel. A good number of you do have such counsel. When a depositor does not have counsel, we are willing to assist it in locating an appropriate representative. As I am sure you can appreciate, we always become a little nervous when someone asks us to select a firm. I am prepared to draw up a list of firms I think are suitable. In any event, the central bank or monetary authority should act quickly to ensure that its interests are represented.

What does the attachment call for? Usually it calls for the amount attached to be turned over to the marshal or the sheriff. Some marshals and all of the sheriffs do have badges with stars on them, but those in New York City do not wear cowboy boots or cowboy hats. We try to make arrangements to hold the asset for the sheriff or marshal. Thus, arrangements have been made, with the cooperation of the party serving the attachment, for an attached asset to remain with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

An attachment order in the United States can be obtained ex parte. This means that without applying to the court, without a hearing, and without the judge signing the order, the attorney for the attaching party can serve the order. Then, within a certain period of time, the attaching party will have to go to court: either to have the attachment confirmed or to obtain an order requiring a turnover of the assets. Within a stated number of days a court proceeding will follow, with memoranda filed with the court and oral arguments made before the judge on the attachment order. Generally, at that time, if not beforehand, the attaching party will have to post a bond whose purpose is to protect the party whose assets have been attached from any harm that might result. Some time ago, one central bank whose assets were attached alleged that the attachment was improper and claimed that its honor had been impugned. It claimed damages against the bank that had served the attachment order for harm to the central bank’s reputation. The central bank requested that a large bond be posted because it, like every other central bank, thought it had a very high reputation. More seriously, it should be noted that requesting a substantial bond and alleging harm from an improper attachment is one way to put the attaching party on the defensive.

At the proceeding, the judge will determine whether the attachment is valid. The garnishor and the party whose assets are attached are parties. The garnishee—the party holding the asset—ge ne rally does not participate. In our case, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, we do not participate as a party, but we may appear in the proceedings. We are prepared to respond to any questions the judge may want to put to us.

Since 1978, the issue of sovereign immunity in the United States has been a statutory matter pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. One suggestion I have for central banks is that, in any country where they maintain a substantial amount of reserves, they should try to become somewhat familiar with the immunity that they might have there. A central bank may conduct a number of operations abroad, through separate areas of the central bank. A central bank may be subject to a proceeding in a country where a claimant could obtain jurisdiction over the bank because of assets in that country’s jurisdiction and not jurisdiction over the person. It follows that one should be concerned about where one’s assets are located and have some knowledge of the risks of having assets in each country. It is interesting to me that the first two countries to deal specifically with central banks’ immunity in a statute are the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which issue reserve currencies. It will be interesting to see whether other countries take similar steps. One might also need to consider the European Convention on State Immunity. Generally, you ought to know what law governs your assets, your reserves, when they are outside of your own jurisdiction.

When is the central bank or monetary authority sovereign? In the United States, the Federal Reserve Act protects the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s assets against pre-judgment attachment but not against an attachment after a judgment. The United States also has a very similar rule for national banks, the thought being that banking assets should not be tied up before judgment. How that relates to foreign central banks is an issue that I will come up to the brink of and let Whitney Debevoise take it from there.

One interesting issue with respect to attachment is that, at least in New York, the property attached must be in the possession of the garnishee at the time of the attachment. The attachment order does not reach after-acquired property. In New York at least, if someone served an attachment on me on a day when my account had a zero balance, and one dollar was transferred into that account the next day, that attachment would not reach that dollar.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act relates to immunity conferred on a sovereign state, which is defined to include (using the word “include” makes the definition open-ended) political subdivisions of a state, as well as agencies and instrumentalities. Agencies and instrumentalities are broadly defined to include those entities that are owned either by a foreign state or an organ of a foreign state. A number of Italian and French commercial banks are foreign states under that definition, because they are owned by foreign states. If this statute were applied to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, we would argue that the Bank, although it is not owned by the state, may be an organ of the state and is an instrumentality of the state. In other words, the statute favors function over form. Most central banks, regardless of their structures, should fall within the definition of a state.

One of the first issues one encounters is how the plaintiff obtains jurisdiction over the defendant foreign central bank or foreign monetary au thority. This was one of the main issues addressed in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The statute made it clear that these decisions should be made by the courts. They should not be made principally by the executive branch of the U.S. government or its State Department. That is not to say that the executive branch could not file a statement of interest to help guide the court in its decision but rather that, in the end, the decision is that of the court itself. The preamble to the legislation states that the United States finds that the determination by U.S. courts of claims of immunity from the jurisdiction of courts serves the interests of justice and protects the rights of foreign states and litigants. It goes on to note that under international law, states are not immune from the jurisdiction of foreign courts with respect to their commercial activities in the jurisdiction. A state’s commercial property may be levied against to satisfy judgments rendered against it in connection with its commercial activities. The statute then spells out the following general rule: foreign states are immune from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. As is true of any general rule, there are exceptions to it. One might inquire into the extent to which the exceptions overcome the general rule. One of the exceptions recognized in the statute is for either an explicit or an implicit waiver. An implicit waiver may be found in a person’s conduct. An explicit waiver will be found in language used in some document that is clear and unambiguous. Another exception is action based on a commercial activity carried on in the United States or an act in the United States based on commercial activity elsewhere that has a direct effect in the United States. I will not go into the other exceptions relating to torts. “Commercial activity” is defined as a regular course of commercial conduct or a particular commercial act; this is not a very helpful definition, from my perspective. Essentially, it says “commercial” means “commercial.” It goes on to state that the commercial character of an activity is determined by the nature of the course of conduct or of a particular act rather than its purpose. One should look at the nature of the act, not the purpose of the act. Is foreign exchange intervention “commercial”? The purpose is governmental, but the activity is commercial; I would conclude that its nature is governmental. How would the courts deal with that? I do not know, but I do know that this nature/purpose distinction is not going to be terribly clear to the courts.

There are some other examples. The issuance and sale of bonds in the United States is a commercial activity. The issuance of promissory notes there is also a commercial activity. A governmental action preventing payment of such notes in response to an economic crisis is an exercise of a governmental function. The sale of certificates of deposit by a government-owned commercial bank is a commercial activity. The purchase of cement by a government and its central bank’s issuance of letters of credit to finance the importation of that cement is likewise a commercial activity. The functions performed by a central bank in exchanging local currency for U.S. dollars pursuant to a commercial transaction is not a commercial activity.

One very recent case involved Johnson Matthey Bankers and was an action brought against the Bank of England by a party alleging that Johnson Matthey had breached a financing agreement.2 The Bank of England also had seconded employees to Johnson Matthey Bankers. The plaintiff asserted that Johnson Matthey Bankers and the Bank of England had breached a financing agreement which resulted in the destruction of its business. The court looked at the transaction and concluded that the takeover of Johnson Matthey Bankers by the Bank of England was, in effect, a temporary nationalization of the commercial bank—a quintessentially sovereign function. The court then went on to say that the commercial activity exemption did not apply to that case. It noted that the Bank of England neither made the loan nor exercised day-to-day control over Johnson Matthey Bankers. This is a question many of us face when acting as lender of last resort. In my view, it raises the question of how much influence we should attempt to exert over our borrower when we are acting as lender of last resort. If the central bank exercises a great deal of control over the debtor, will a foreign court later conclude that the central bank has engaged in commercial activity? We can take some satisfaction from the opinion rendered in this case when the court concluded that the Bank of England’s action of seconding employees to Johnson Matthey Bankers who did not consult with the Bank of England before the commercial bank took actions, but instead acted as managers of the institution—something common in the United Kingdom—did not give rise to day-to-day control by the Bank of England.

Assuming that the requisite jurisdiction has been found and there is jurisdiction in the courts, then the question that we face is whether there is immunity from attachment. There are two other types of attachment: (1) pre-judgment attachment, which would occur before an action or trial got under way in order to freeze assets so that there would be assets to liquidate when the trial was over, and (2) attachment in aid of execution or attachment on the judgment, which would occur when assets of the defendant were used to satisfy the claim. We have a general rule that the property in the United States owned by a foreign state is immune from attachment in aid of execution.

Again, there are exceptions, and these should not be very surprising to you. The property of a foreign state will not be immune if it has waived immunity, expressly or implicitly, or if the property is used in a commercial activity. Then there is a separate provision for the property of agencies and instrumentalities; their property is not immune if immunity is explicitly or implicitly waived or if the judgment relates to a claim for which the agency cannot claim the jurisdictional immunity. Pre-judgment attachment can be obtained against property used in commercial activities in the United States if the foreign state has explicitly waived immunity and the purpose of the attachment is to secure satisfaction of an eventual judgment and not to obtain jurisdiction. One major change this legislation has brought about is that a plaintiff can no longer obtain jurisdiction over a foreign state merely because its assets are located in the country. Jurisdiction has to be based on acts; the pre-judgment attachment has to be for the purpose of helping to secure a judgment.

When the legislation was being developed, there was concern with its application to central banks, specifically with respect to the issue of obtaining jurisdiction over the assets of foreign central banks and monetary authorities. The relevant provision is Section 1611(b)(1) of Title 28 of the United States Code. Section 1611(b)(1) states that the provisions of the statute on waiver relating to property do not apply to the property of a foreign state if the property is that of a foreign central bank or monetary authority held for its own account unless such bank or authority, or its parent government, has explicitly waived its immunity from attachment in aid of execution. One would think that the parent government would have to have the authority to waive immunity under the law of the home country before such waiver would be given effect in the United States. What is a “central bank” for this purpose? In the Johnson Matt hey Bankers case, the court noted that the Bank of England was the central bank of the United Kingdom and that, in that capacity, it issued currency, managed the nation’s gold and foreign exchange reserves, and regulated banks. The Bank of England was regarded in that case as an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state. Section 1611 was not an issue in that case, but at least that is something the court could have looked at for guidance. In another case, a rather confusing statement was made involving attachments of the bank accounts of the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia. The court noted, in one sentence, that one of the accounts attached was that of the central bank of Liberia and that the attaching party conceded that this account was immune. Panamanian litigation in the U.S. district court in New York has addressed the Federal Reserve Act definition of a foreign central bank: an entity carrying on any activity of a central bank. This definition focuses on a single activity. This raises an interesting question of whether one can take just one of the activities of a central bank—for example, issuing currency—and argue that, for the purposes of Section 1611, an entity that issues currency, but is otherwise commercial in nature is a central bank. I think that for sovereign-immunity purposes, more might be required. What are the activities of a foreign central bank? In a list of activities that characterize a central bank or monetary authority, I would include the following: issuing legal-tender currency, holding the reserves of the country’s depository institutions, making loans to depository institutions or acting as lender of last resort, holding the deposits of the government, acting as the government’s bank, engaging in open-market operations in the country, implementing monetary policy through market operations, imposing credit controls and exchange restrictions, and licensing and supervising banks. Most central banks or monetary authorities engage in some combination of these activities and others as well. Some have accounts for members of the public. The burden is on the central bank asserting immunity to prove it is a central bank. One court refused to take “judicial notice” of Bank Markazi Iran as a central bank. The lesson of that case is that one cannot simply assert that an institution is a central bank.

The property must be held for the central bank’s own account. What does this language mean? In terms of securities, this may be easy to explain. A central bank holding securities in the United States will hold those securities as its own assets or will act as a custodian for someone else. If the central bank is not the beneficial and legal owner of the assets, a good argument can be made that that property is not the central bank’s own property. A general deposit that the central bank maintains with another bank should be regarded as the central bank’s own funds. That deposit is an asset of the central bank. The fact that the central bank may also have its own funds liabilities owing to third parties—the deposit will be an “asset” on the left-hand side of the central bank’s balance sheet, and the claim of the central bank’s own depositor will be a liability on the right-hand side of the central bank’s balance sheet—does not mean that the funds on deposit in the United States are not the central bank’s own funds. “Held for its own account” is troublesome language, and there is no legislative history that tells us fully what was meant. Some legislative history suggests that this language is intended to differentiate between central banking and commercial functions, but I think that central banks cannot distinguish very easily between their central banking and commercial functions. Both commercial and central banks have some characteristics in common—both are banks. The Federal Reserve Banks in the United States transfer funds for banks, hold securities for banks, and make loans to banks; those are commercial activities. Attempting to classify them by the nature of the activity—foreign exchange intervention, open-market operations, etc.—is difficult, since all have central banking purposes. But these activities also clearly entail commercial transactions—that is, it is the essence of a central bank to be a bank. Consider the Trendtex litigation in the United Kingdom,3 where the U.K. court (prior to the enactment of the State Immunities Act) asked the central bank in question: “Well, is it the government? But it is a bank.” There were three opinions in the case, and each was concerned with this issue: “Is this or isn’t this a commercial activity?” That, to me, is the reason why we have a separate provision in the statute for central banks. The proper approach is to go beyond the commercial/governmental activity debate. We simply should not treat a central bank as we treat the rest of the foreign government: central banks are different. I am sure that most of us here today agree with that statement.

A waiver must be explicit and unambiguous. This leads me to my concluding issue—waiving of pre-judgment attachment. This is a very lively issue in the United States right now. It is one of the central topics in the negotiations on the Brazilian debt restructuring. I prefer not to delve into it in detail at this time; rather, all I will do is summarize very succinctly one U.S. case, the Banque Compafina case,4 having to do with the Bank of Guatemala. The court did not, in that case, definitively address the question, and I would say in the United States we do not have a definitive answer as to whether a central bank can waive its immunity from pre-judgment attachment. The court looked at the language of the statute and said, “Yes, there appears to be no room for waiver,” but it was not clear to the court whether the U.S. Congress had thought about the issue or whether this was merely inadvertence. When we go back and look at earlier case law, we also look at the legislative history, the debates in our Congress, the reports prepared, and the testimony taken at hearings; and as we try to distill what all of these wise people have said, we wonder whether they were craftsmen whose every word was carefully thought over and debated or whether they gave the matter any thought at all. The judge looked at the legislative history, and it was not clear to him. But what he seemed to say was that the language could be read as indicating that pre-judgment attachment could not be waived by a foreign central bank.

I would like to throw out one bit of advice—that is, I would like to ask why the central bank wants to be a party to debt restructuring? Most central banks do not borrow in the markets, and most are not debtors. Central banks assist their governments by acting as their agents in raising debt (in a fiscal-agent capacity), but most are not the debtors on that debt. Why, when matters have not quite worked out right on the government debt, have central banks become either debtors or guarantors? It seems wise to me for central banks to try to avoid inadvertently becoming co-debtors or guarantors, because if they succeed in these efforts they will not have to face these difficult questions of immunity and waiver.



I think I will say just a few words about the debate that has to do with the interpretation of Section 1611(b)(1) and Section 1610(d) of the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. If we focused on that topic for the entire afternoon, I think that you would quickly fall asleep. You are an international audience, and so what I would really like to do is to focus on some of the practical problems that arise in advising a foreign central bank which has contacts here in the United States, as it relates to this question of pre-judgment attachment immunity.

So let me turn first to the very narrow question under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The question, as to which there seems to be some considerable debate, is whether, under the existing legislation in the United States, foreign central banks can waive their immunity from pre-judgment attachment. The problem arises under Section 1611, which Ernest Patrikis referred to earlier.

If you have the Banque Compafina case that was referred to earlier, you will find some of the basic arguments set forth in that decision. The essence of the matter is that there is a general rule of immunity from attachment in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. That rule, as Ernest Patrikis said, is subject to some exceptions, one of which relates specifically to pre-judgment attachment immunity. That exception provides that in cases where there is an explicit waiver, the commercial properties of entities which otherwise would enjoy this immunity can be waived and pre-judgment attachment will be available. There is, however, a separate section in the Act which is devoted exclusively to foreign central banks; and that section makes no mention whatsoever of pre-judgment attachment. It merely says, as Ernest Patrikis did earlier, that the property of a foreign central bank or monetary authority held for its own account has immunity unless that immunity has been explicitly waived. And it says that the central bank has immunity from attachment in aid of execution or from execution, but it does not say the central bank has immunity from attachment prior to judgment. So, the argument, I think, as you obviously see it unfolding, is that the only type of waiver contemplated in this section is waiver of post-judgment immunity with respect to central bank property and not of pre-judgment immunity. And since the statutory section is silent with respect to pre-judgment attachment immunity, the argument goes, waiver of it is simply not possible. Now, some other people who have written on this subject have lamely said that this was merely an oversight of the legislature. But, if you start to dig in and look at the history of this question in the United States, and the specific legislative history of this subject, you will see that this could not have been an oversight, and that this position was something that the Congress had to have had very clearly in mind, given certain policies that they intended to promote. And among those policies were some rather parochial policies related to the desire to attract foreign funds to the United States. But there are also other policies which are deeply imbedded in U.S. legislation related to the question of the availability of pre-judgment attachment against financial institutions generally. And those policies, I think you can also say, are reflected in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

For more than one hundred years, the United States has had on its books a statute which prohibits pre-judgment attachments against national banks. For example, just to pick a name, if Chase Manhattan Bank were to make a loan to a Texas bank that might be in trouble at the moment, there would be no opportunity for Chase to obtain a pre-judgment attachment against this bank in Texas. The theory behind this is, I think, rather clear. If you were a banker, and your bank were subject to pre-judgment attachment, how could your bank remain open to take demand deposits? If your customer made a deposit and then came in the next day and asked to withdraw his money, you would have to tell him, “I’m sorry, we are subject to a pre-judgment attachment order, and I cannot pay you.” Clearly, the banking system would come to a halt rather quickly. And, I would submit to you, the case for prohibiting pre-judgment attachments is even stronger for central banks. Given the crucial role central banks play in the international financial system, I hardly think that the system as a whole should tolerate this possibility.

Let me, now, talk a little bit about the practical side of this issue, because I think that it is easy to have a nice intellectual debate about what is or is not possible under a particular statute here in the United States or what is or is not possible in the courts of Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, and so on. In my experience, however, these debates are always much more fruitful and more focused if one digs into some of the practical aspects. This question of the availability of pre-judgment attachment does affect transactions and their structure. An interim financing was put together for Brazil last fall, and I can tell you that a lot of thought was given to this question, both by counsel for the creditor banks and by counsel for the country, because the transaction contemplated the pooling of large sums of money in a single institution and in a single account, albeit only for a short period. But, as you heard this morning, in the debt-management context, we are increasingly faced with the problem of free riders among creditor banks. As any transactional lawyer knows, you try to avoid creating pots of gold which could be targets for attachments. And the transaction, in fact, took on a very special structure in order to minimize this risk. We tried very hard to avoid it altogether and concluded that that was not possible. Central bank funds, we found, would have been safe at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), but commercial bank funds held there might, theoretically, have been at risk. So, as I said, we were not able to completely eliminate the risk, but this desideratum was thoroughly considered. And I know that there have been many other instances where the structuring issue has arisen.

Another problem with pre-judgment attachment, of course, is its interference with central bank functions. As I mentioned earlier, it is hard to contemplate a bank functioning as a bank if it were subject to a pre-judgment attachment order. Many of you come from central banks which, by statute, are bound to be the bankers for your governments and to provide services to them and to governmental agencies. In some of the Iranian cases that Ernest Patrikis referred to, extensive affidavits were submitted to the courts on this point, and Bank Markazi Iran made it very clear that it was required to serve as banker to the Iranian Government. Notwithstanding this, the courts in the United States seemed to find that Bank Markazi Iran was engaged in commercial activities, even though it was doing nothing more than serving as the banker for its government.

Permitting pre-judgment attachment can also interfere with a central bank’s carrying out its responsibilities as lender of last resort. Foreign central banks which have responsibility for supervising their banking systems and want to be good international citizens by providing liquidity support to the overseas branches and agencies of their domestic banks could find that the structures by which they provide this liquidity support were affected by the existence of waivers of pre-judgment attachment immunity. Very substantial amounts of money could be involved here.

Then, of course, there also is the question of the actual financial cost. If a foreign central bank is concerned about this issue, as many rightfully are, it seeks a safe place for its money. Unfortunately, deposits in the safe place frequently do not provide terribly high yields, so there is a sacrifice involved.

We also face some of the problems Ernest Patrikis referred to briefly, such as the problem of mixed accounts, which arose in the Tanzanian embassy and the Colombian embassy cases, on which the courts in different countries seem to have had different points of view; we have even had two conflicting decisions on this issue in the United States. Resolution of this conflict should be easy if one takes the view which Ernest Patrikis has expressed—and which I agree is the correct one—that the specific section in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act with respect to central banks is designed to reverse the basic presumption expressed earlier in the Act. The basic presumption, as he said, is that you should look to the nature of the act, not its purpose. I would submit that the entire purpose of the special section on central banks in the U.S. immunity law is to reverse that presumption and to make it clear that courts are to look to the purpose, and not to the nature, of an act where central banks are concerned.

There also are the questions, which were referred to earlier, of whether the immunity attaches to the central bank and its property, and of whether it should exist regardless of where the assets are placed. Unfortunately, U.S. judges have not always recognized this; in one Iranian assets case, a U.S. judge entered a preliminary injunction against the foreign central bank with respect to its properties held at a U.S. commercial bank, but went on to say that it would not be good policy to enter an injunction with respect to funds of that same central bank which were held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Intellectually, there is no justification for this; it is inconsistent, and the statute makes no such distinction.

There also is the question of injunctions. The statute speaks about attachments. Fortunately, the U.S. courts have been pretty good on this and have tended to say that the rule on pre-judgment attachments also applies to injunctions which have the same effect.

This has been just a brief overview of some of the fine points of this question which arise in everyday life, and I will close here. I hope I have contributed to the debate by trying to focus on some of the narrow, more practical aspects. Thank you.