Central bank balance sheets and fiscal operations

Research output: Book/ReportReports


This paper reviews how a central bank’s involvement in activities such as foreign exchange intervention and restructuring banking systems at the behest of the government may affect its balance sheet and the possible implications. Section 2 argues that if such operations leave the central bank with low, or even negative, capital its (perceived) independence and ability to conduct monetary policy may be affected. Section 3 sets out some stylised facts about central banks’ balance sheets, and highlights the role of seigniorage in increasing capital and that of the main quasi-fiscal activities in reducing capital.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherBank for International Settlements
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2003

Publication series

NameBIS Papers
PublisherBank for International Settlements
ISSN (Print)1609-0381


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