Summary of Getting a Grip on Liquidity

Notes from the Vault

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta,

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Getting a Grip on Liquidity summary
Liquidity is a concept financial market participants regularly refer to but don’t often agree on.


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In attempting to define pornography, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart quipped, “I know it when I see it.” In the case of liquidity, the quote would most likely be “I know it when I don’t see it.” Liquidity can mean many things to many people, but all agree that its absence is bad. Economist Paula Tkac thinks it’s time to get a grip on this slippery idea. getAbstract recommends Tkac’s thoughtful introduction and outline of liquidity to financial professionals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What liquidity entails
  • How different types of liquidity interact
  • Why understanding liquidity is still a work in progress


Bankers, traders and regulators each have their own definition of “liquidity”: “Institutional liquidity” – This is the capacity of a financial institution to handle short-term mismatches between its assets and liabilities. Banks typically raise short-term funds to make long-term loans...
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About the Author

Paula Tkac is a senior economist and vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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