Central banks in emerging markets could follow counterparts in the developed world and become "market makers of last resort", using unconventional monetary policies to try and stimulate their flatlining economies, according to Mexico's central bank chief.
The comments by Agustín Carstens will add to a rising chorus of concern about the deteriorating prospects for EMs in 2016, led by an economic slowdown in China.
"Emerging markets need to be ready for a potentially severe shock," Mr Carstens told the Financial Times. "The adjustment could be violent and policymakers need to be ready for it."
Policymakers and economists have warned that heavy selling of EM stocks and bonds by international investors since the middle of last year threatens to provoke a credit crunch that would make it hard for EM companies to service their debts.
Many EM companies have filled up on cheap credit over the past decade, after a commodities boom and ultra-loose monetary policies led by the US Federal Reserve resulted in very low borrowing costs. As investors pull out, those costs are set to soar.