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The ECB as Lender of Last Resort:Banks versus Governments

Adalbert Winkler

FMG Special Papers from Financial Markets Group

Abstract: With the OMT program the ECB has de facto taken over the role as a lender of last resort (LoLR) for euro area governments. While this has been welcomed by some, many policymakers and economists, in particular in Germany, have strongly criticized the ECB for taking this step, even though it has been motivated by the same monetary policy considerations as the ECB’s role as a LoLR for banks. This paper addresses four arguments that are used to explain why it is acceptable to have the ECB as a LoLR for banks, while a LoLR role for governments has to be rejected. Overall we find that the arguments fail to convince. At the same time, all of them suggest that decisive steps towards fiscal and banking union are needed for the ECB to act as a successful LoLR for governments in the medium and long term.

Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-eec, nep-mac and nep-mon
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Journal Article: The ECB as Lender of Last Resort: Banks versus Governments (2015) Downloads
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