The European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve as Lender of Last Resort
Without a lender of last resort financial stability is not possible and systemic financial crises get out of control. During and after the Great Recession the US Federal Reserve System (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) took on the role of lender of last resort in a comprehensive way. The Fed stabilised the financial system, including the shadow banking system. However, the chance to fundamentally restructure the financial system was not used. The ECB was confronted with sovereign debt crises and an incomplete integration of the European Monetary Union (EMU). It followed a kind of “muddling through” to keep the Euro area together. In the EMU not only a fundamental restructuring of the financial system is needed but also a deeper economic and political integration. The Fed and the ECB both were the most important institutions to avoid repetition of the 1930s.
Key words: Lender of last resort, Monetary policy, Financial crisis, Fed, ECB.
JEL: E42, E51, E52, E58, G01.