Exchange rates

Martin Guzman, José Antonio Ocampo, Joseph Stiglitz, 21 February 2019

The role of exchange rate policies in economic development is still largely debated. This column argues that there are theoretical foundations for policies that guarantee competitive and stable real exchange rates. When there are constraints on the available set of policy instruments, the complementary use of competitive exchange rates with export taxes for traditional export sectors would result in effectively multiple real exchange rates. The empirical evidence suggests that both foreign exchange interventions and capital account regulations can be effectively used for maintaining competitive exchange rates and for dampening the effects of boom-bust cycles in external financing and the terms of trade on the exchange rate, thereby promoting growth and stability.

Friederike Niepmann, Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 06 February 2019

The issuance of syndicated loans, including leveraged loans, has grown substantially in the US. Institutional investors increasingly hold these loans. This column discusses how this has created a strong link between the dollar and US corporate credit conditions. When the dollar appreciates, institutional investors demand fewer loans on the secondary market, causing US banks to reduce lending and tighten credit standards. Risk appetite in global capital markets has become a key driver of credit supply to US firms.

Ana Fernandes, L Alan Winters, 21 November 2018

Understanding the effect of exchange rate movements on international trade is a major issue for economists and policymakers. This column shows that Portuguese exporters absorbed little of the effect of the large and unanticipated depreciation of sterling following the Brexit referendum into their markups – the vast bulk of the effect of the depreciation was visited on UK users and consumers of Portuguese goods. The lesson for the UK as it contemplates life after Brexit is that it is, in the technical sense, a ‘small open economy’ and will have little ability to negotiate or otherwise achieve better trading terms.

Alex Cukierman, 02 November 2018

The size and nature of an economy have a crucial influence on the measures that can be taken in response to major shocks. This column investigates the forex interventions taken by Switzerland and Israel – two small, open economies – in the wake of the Global Crisis. While discretionary interventions are shown to be preferable when policy rates are strictly positive, this is no longer valid when the effective lower bound is reached and unconventional monetary policy is called for. The transfer of reserve management to a sovereign wealth fund is also discussed. 

Yossi Saadon, Nathan Sussman, 31 October 2018

Global integration has increased rapidly over recent decades, leaving basic theories of exchange rate equilibrium ripe for reconsideration. This column tests two such theories – purchasing power parity and uncovered interest rate parity – using the case of the advanced, small open economy of Israel and the US. The results show that when the necessary conditions are met, the purchasing power parity and uncovered interest rate parity relationships continue to hold in the short run. 

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