Anxious financial markets are not only looking to politicians but also to central banks to take the lead in tackling a morphing global crisis, yet the range of conventional options for central bankers is limited. The need for new thinking and new solutions is critical. How can central banks help to stabilise the financial system in the face of systemic liquidity and sovereign credit challenges and develop the foundations for a more stable future environment? As central banks develop their lead role within an emerging macroprudential oversight function, how will the demands of heightened politicisation and the need for a more collaborative approach with banks and fiscal agencies affect their governance, independence and ability to take decisive action? How can central banks master the practical challenges created by bigger and more volatile balance sheets arising from their evolving functions?