We cannot predict when such liquidity shortages will happen. But we do know that when the global capital pipelines freeze up, a short-term liquidity problem can quickly slide into a deeper and longer-lasting solvency problem. A liquidity line that is available on demand can be a lifeline in such cases.
The IMF responded to this need by establishing a new facility last week called the Short-term Liquidity Line (SLL), the first addition to the IMF’s financing toolkit in almost ten years. As part of its broader crisis-response strategy, this new facility provides a reliable and renewable credit line, without ex post conditionality, to members with very strong fundamentals and policy frameworks—the same qualification criteria as another IMF facility called the Flexible Credit Line. The SLL is designed to address a special balance-of-payments need—potential, moderate, and short-term—reflected in capital account pressures following external shocks.