Global safe assets

BIS Working Papers No 399
December 2012

Will the world run out of 'safe assets' and what would be the consequences on global financial stability? We argue that in a world with competing private stores of value, the global economic system tends to favor the riskiest ones. Privately produced stores of value cannot provide sufficient insurance against global shocks. Only public safe assets may, if appropriately supported by monetary policy. We draw some implications for the global financial system.

JEL classification: F02, F30, G01, G15

Keywords: classification: safe assets, dollar, euro, liquidity trap, government debt crisis