The onset of the COVID-19 shock in March 2020 brought large changes to the balance sheets of the U.S. branches of foreign banking organizations (FBOs). Most of these branches saw sizable usage of committed credit lines by U.S.-based clients, resulting in increased funding needs. In this post, we show that branches of FBOs from countries whose central banks used standing swap lines with the Federal Reserve (“standing swap central banks”—SSCBs) met their increased funding needs by accessing dollars that flowed into the United States through their foreign parent banks. This volume of dollar inflows accounted for at least half of the late March aggregate take-up at SSCB dollar operations.
Previous Liberty Street Economics analysis and New York Fed research addressed the potential implications for the United States if the dollar’s global role changed, noting that the currency might not retain its dominance forever. This post checks the status of the dollar, considering whether any erosion in the dollar’s international standing has occurred. The evidence to date is that the dollar remains the world’s dominant currency by broad margins. Alternatives have not gained extensive traction, albeit this does not rule out potential future pressures.
Highlights from the Fourth Bi-annual Global Research Forum on International Macroeconomics and Finance
Achieving and maintaining global financial stability has been at the forefront of policy discussions in the decade after the eruption of the global financial crisis. With the purpose of exploring key issues in international finance and macroeconomics from the perspective of what has changed ten years after the crisis, the fourth bi-annual Global Research Forum on International Macroeconomics and Finance, organized by the European Central Bank (ECB), the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was held at the ECB in Frankfurt am Main on November 29-30, 2018. Participants included a diverse group from academia, international policy institutions, national central banks, and financial markets. Among the topics of discussion: the international roles of the U.S. dollar, the evolution of global financial markets, and the safety of the global financial system.
The global financial crisis, and the ensuing Dodd-Frank Act, identified size and complexity as determinants of banks’ systemic importance, increasing the potential risks to financial stability. While it’s known that big banks haven’t shrunk, the question that remains is: have they simplified? In this post, we show that while the largest U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) have somewhat simplified their organizational structures, they remain very complex. The industries spanned by entities within the BHCs have shifted more than they have declined, and the countries in which some large BHCs have entities still include numerous “secrecy” or tax-haven locations.
International financial flows are a key feature of the global landscape and are relevant in many ways for central banks.
he recent financial crisis underscored the importance of understanding how liquidity conditions for banks (or other financial institutions) influence the banks’ lending to domestic and foreign customers.
Some market watchers and academic researchers are concerned about a “Balkanization” of banking, owing to a sharp decline in cross-border international banking activity, and an increased home bias of financial transactions.
Banks increasingly move money around the world.
In this post, I focus on the broad historical progression of international banking activity.
It isn’t surprising that the dollar is always in the news, given the prominence of the United States in the global economy and how often the dollar is used in transactions around the world (as discussed in a 2010 Current Issues article).