In the ongoing financial crisis, policy makers have for the most part appeared to be reactive, formulating emergency solutions as events unfold. However, in contrast to their performance during the Great Depression, central banks around the world, led by the Federal Reserve, acted decisively following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and provided huge injections of liquidity into the financial markets, thereby preventing a far worse outcome. International Liquidity and the Financial Crisis compares the 2008 crisis with the disaster of 1931 and explores the similarities and differences. It considers the lasting effects of the crisis on international liquidity, the possibilities for an international lender of last resort, and the enlargement of the International Monetary Fund after the crisis. It shows that there is no clear demarcation between monetary and macro-prudential policies, and discusses how central banks need to adapt to a new environment in which global liquidity is much scarcer.
William A. Allen is a financial and economic consultant and an honorary visiting senior fellow of Cass Business School, London. He worked for the Bank of England from 1972 to 2004 in a wide range of functions, including monetary policy formulation and financial market operations. From 1978 to 1980 he was seconded to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and from 1994 to 1998 he was a member of the European Union Monetary Committee. He was educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.
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