Global liquidity: a view from Basel

Speech by Mr Jaime Caruana, General Manager of the BIS, at the International Capital Markets Association Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference, Paris, 26 May 2011.

Policymakers have once again entered a discussion of global liquidity. Speaking to a group of capital market participants, the General Manager of the BIS suggested that bankers, bond underwriters and investors, as gatekeepers of credit, play an important role in the determination of global liquidity, defined as the growth and terms of global credit extension. The General Manager illustrated this role by contrasting the growth rates of US dollar credit within and outside the United States. He argued that international credit, including cross-currency credit involving maturity mismatches, tends to amplify domestic credit developments and poses challenges to policymakers. With new institutions and Basel III, policymakers are better equipped to moderate, or at least make the financial system less vulnerable to, swings in global liquidity. But better risk management, better analysis of liquidity risks and better funding strategies on the part of private market participants will be essential.