Exchange Stabilization Fund

Entity Type
Founding Date

The Exchange Stabilization Fund was created and financed by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. An emergency reserve fund of the United States Treasury Department, ESF can be used to mitigate instability in various financial sectors including credit, securities, and foreign exchange markets, allowing the US market to influence currency exchange rates without directly affecting domestic money supply. The Exchange Stabilization Fund consists of three types of assets: U.S. dollars, foreign currencies, and Special Drawing Rights. As of October 2009, the fund held assets worth $105 billion, including $58.1 billion in special drawing rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund.

  • Can be used by the US treasury to intervene in currency markets
  • Is not under congressional control
  • Can be used by the Treasury at its own discretion
  • Was used to bail out Mexico in 1994
  • ~40 Billion in Assets (2018) including SDRs
  • Can exchange SDRs with the US Fed to get US Currency

  • Created during Gold Reserve Act of 1934
  • Funded from the gains realized when gold was revalued from $20.67 to $35 per ounce in 1933