Why central banks need capital

Traditionally, central banks have taken a lofty view of their capital requirements. While they have exhorted commercial banks to have adequate capital, until comparatively recently few of them had paid attention to the question of how much capital and reserves they themselves need, if any. There are indeed good arguments for saying that they do not need capital. Their real "capital" - the resources they can call on in case of need - is the backing of the state. What is the point of a public

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