The Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) is an emergency reserve fund of the United States Treasury Department, normally used for foreign exchange intervention.This arrangement (as opposed to having the central bank intervene directly) allows the US government to influence currency exchange rates without directly affecting domestic money supply.
As of October 2009, the fund held assets worth $105 billion, including $58.1 billion in special drawing rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund.
The U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund was established at the Treasury Department by a provision in the Gold Reserve Act of January 31, 1934. 31 U.S.C. § 5117. It was intended as a response to Britain's Exchange Equalisation Account. The fund began operations in April 1934, financed by $2 billion of the $2.8 billion paper profit the government realized from raising the price of gold to $35 an ounce from $20.67. The act authorized the ESF to use its capital to deal in gold and foreign exchange to stabilize the exchange value of the dollar. The ESF as originally designed was part of the executive branch not subject to legislative oversight.
The Gold Reserve Act authorized the ESF to use such assets as were not needed for exchange market stabilization to deal in government securities. The Fund had no statutory authority, however, to engage in other activities that it began to undertake.[ citation needed ] The principal such extraneous activity it devoted itself to was lending dollars to politically favored governments.
In 1938–40, the director of the Division of Monetary Research, Harry Dexter White, worked on a proposal for loans to Latin America and participated in plans for an Inter-American Bank, which did not materialize. The plan for an Inter-American Bank, however, inspired White's first draft of the subsequent plans for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that White prepared in 1941 at Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Henry Morgenthau's direction.
It was funded by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, with Archie Lochhead serving as its first Director.
The Special Drawing Rights Act of 1968, 22 U.S.C. § 286o, likewise provided that any special drawing rights (SDRs) allocated by the International Monetary Fund or otherwise acquired by the United States are resources of the ESF. In accordance with the Act, SDRs can be "monetized" (i.e., converted into dollars) by having the Secretary of the Treasury issue Special Drawing Rights Certificates (SDRCs) to the Federal Reserve System. The amount of SDRCs are limited to the dollar value of the ESF's SDR holdings. The dollar proceeds of such monetizations are assets of the ESF, and the SDRCs are a counterpart liability of the ESF. Treasury has a written understanding with the Fed that the SDRCs will be redeemed when ESF dollar holdings appear to be in excess of foreseeable requirements. Treasury does not pay interest on SDRCs.
A change in the law, in 1970, allows the Secretary of the Treasury, with the approval of the President, to use money in the ESF to "deal in gold, foreign exchange, and other instruments of credit and securities."
The U.S. government used the fund to provide $20 billion in currency swaps and loan guarantees to Mexico following the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico. This was somewhat controversial at the time, because President Clinton had tried and failed to pass the Mexican Stabilization Act through Congress. Use of the ESF circumvented the need for approval of the legislative branch. In response, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Mexican Debt Disclosure Act of 1995, which implicitly accepted the use of the ESF, but required reports to Congress every six months on the status of the loans.At the end of the crisis, the U.S. made a $500 million profit on the loans.
On September 19, 2008, U.S. Treasury Department announced that up to $50 billion in the ESF would temporarily be made available to guarantee deposits in certain money market funds.
On March 25, 2020, Congress temporarily authorized the treasury to use the ESF to stabilize money market mutual funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises. Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s, the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Great Recession during the late 2000s, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.
Special drawing rights (SDRs) are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDRs are units of account for the IMF, and not a currency per se. They represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged. SDRs were created in 1969 to supplement a shortfall of preferred foreign exchange reserve assets, namely gold and U.S. dollars. The ISO 4217 currency code for special drawing rights is XDR and the numeric code is 960.
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was widely used in the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Most nations abandoned the gold standard as the basis of their monetary systems at some point in the 20th century, although many still hold substantial gold reserves.
A reserve currency is a foreign currency that is held in significant quantities by central banks or other monetary authorities as part of their foreign exchange reserves. The reserve currency can be used in international transactions, international investments and all aspects of the global economy. It is often considered a hard currency or safe-haven currency.
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the United States, Canada, Western European countries, Australia, and Japan after the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. The Bretton Woods system was the first example of a fully negotiated monetary order intended to govern monetary relations among independent states. The chief features of the Bretton Woods system were an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained its external exchange rates within 1 percent by tying its currency to gold and the ability of the IMF to bridge temporary imbalances of payments. Also, there was a need to address the lack of cooperation among other countries and to prevent competitive devaluation of the currencies as well.
The Mexican peso crisis was a currency crisis sparked by the Mexican government's sudden devaluation of the peso against the U.S. dollar in December 1994, which became one of the first international financial crises ignited by capital flight.
Foreign exchange reserves are cash and other reserve assets held by a central bank or other monetary authority that are primarily available to balance payments of the country, influence the foreign exchange rate of its currency, and to maintain confidence in financial markets. Reserves are held in one or more reserve currencies, nowadays mostly the United States dollar and to a lesser extent the euro.
The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934 required that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be surrendered and vested in the sole title of the United States Department of the Treasury. It also prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from redeeming dollars for gold, established the Exchange Stabilization Fund under control of the Treasury to control the dollar’s value without the assistance of the Federal Reserve, and authorized the president to establish the gold value of the dollar by proclamation.
The history of the United States Dollar refers to more than 240 years since the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the issuance of Continental Currency in 1775. On April 2, 1792, the United States Congress created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money. The term dollar had already been in common usage since the colonial period when it referred to eight-real coin used by the Spanish throughout New Spain.
The Exchange Equalisation Account (EEA) is a fund of Her Majesty's Treasury in the United Kingdom. It holds the country's reserves of foreign currencies, gold, and special drawing rights (SDR) held at the International Monetary Fund. It was set up to provide funding which if necessary can be used to manage the exchange value of pound sterling on international markets.
The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, in response to increasing inflation, the most significant of which were wage and price freezes, surcharges on imports, and the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold.
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The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, often called the "bank bailout of 2008," was proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, passed by the 110th United States Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The act became law as part of Public Law 110-343 on October 3, 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis of 2007–08. The law created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to purchase toxic assets from banks. The funds for purchase of distressed assets were mostly redirected to inject capital into banks and other financial institutions while the Treasury continued to examine the usefulness of targeted asset purchases.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program of the United States government to purchase toxic assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen its financial sector that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008. It was a component of the government's measures in 2008 to address the subprime mortgage crisis.
The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) is a program created by the U.S. Federal Reserve to spur consumer credit lending. The program was announced on November 25, 2008 and was to support the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) collateralized by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, and loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Under TALF, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York authorized up to $200 billion of loans on a non-recourse basis to holders of certain AAA-rated ABS backed by newly and recently originated consumer and small business loans. As TALF money did not originate from the U.S. Treasury, the program did not require congressional approval to disburse funds, but an act of Congress forced the Fed to reveal how it lent the money.
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This article details the history of banking in the United States. Banking in the United States is regulated by both the federal and state governments.
India has large foreign-exchange reserves; holdings of cash, bank deposits, bonds, and other financial assets denominated in currencies other than India's national currency, the Indian rupee. The reserves are managed by the Reserve Bank of India for the Indian government and the main component is foreign currency assets.
In 1945, China cofounded the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with 34 other nations. In April 1980, the People's Republic of China, established a formal relationship with the IMF. The Chinese-IMF relationship mainly operates around affairs associated with IMF governance and the IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR).