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Connectedness and ContagionProtecting the Financial System from Panics$
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Hal S. Scott

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034371

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034371.001.0001

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Comparison of LLR Powers of Fed with Bank of England, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan

Comparison of LLR Powers of Fed with Bank of England, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan

(p.109) 10 Comparison of LLR Powers of Fed with Bank of England, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan
Connectedness and Contagion

Hal S. Scott

The MIT Press

The Fed's three major peers are the Bank of England (BOE), the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan (BOJ). This chapter begins with a description of the powers of the three peer central banks. It then compares their powers with those of the Fed. It argues that institutionally the United States grants by far the weakest lender-of-last-resort (LLR) powers to its central bank, particularly with respect to nonbanks: (1) its independence is more fragile; (2) it is the only country with special limitations on lending to nonbanks as compared with banks; (3) it is the only country, outside the Eurozone, that makes no provision for loans to institutions the central bank does not judge as solvent; (4) while the BOE and BOJ require Treasury approval or direction for emergency lending, such requirements are likely to be much less politicized than the US Treasury approval of loans to nonbanks; (5) it is the only country that places restrictions on banks using discount window loans to support affiliates; (6) it is the only country requiring that there be a broad program for borrowing by nonbanks; and (7) it is the most aggressive country in requiring disclosure, thereby possibly inhibiting borrowers from borrowing due to the associated stigma. All but the first point results from changes by Dodd–Frank. This US weakness is not likely to be rectified in the near future given the politics surrounding bailouts.

Keywords:   Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, financial policy, lender of last resort, Dodd–Frank Act, monetary policy

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