The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

IMF launches $650 billion SDR programme

The new SDR programme raises more questions than it answers.


The IMF’s creation of a $650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) programme in August was well received. Most commentary focused on the size – at one stroke it nearly doubled the outstanding size of the SDRs created in the four previous occasions the IMF had pulled this out of its toolkit, the last being in 2009 after the global financial crisis (that one was $250 billion). At $650 billion, it’s as big as it could be without US Congressional approval.

But there are two largely unaddressed questions: the first is: why now? SDRs are essentially a liquidity tool. But, unlike in 2008, aren’t we continually being told that the global financial system passed this liquidity test with flying colours?

That’s the consensus, but suddenly here are $650 billion in SDRs. Perhaps this suggests that all’s not well under the hood of the global monetary system. It’s akin to the decision by the PBOC to cut its reserve requirements by 50bp in July: the conventional reading was that it was a stimulative policy, whereas historical correlation with previous cuts, such as in October 2018, suggest it’s a reaction to international monetary tightness.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree