Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Sovereign external assets and the resilience of global imbalances

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gabriel Enrique Alberola

    ()
    (Banco de España)

  • José María Serena

    ()
    (Banco de España)

Abstract

Sovereign external assets (SEAs) comprise foreign exchange reserves and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The global stock of reserves reached 7 $trn in the second quarter of 2008, but data on SWF are rather elusive. Our estimation puts the SWFs at around 2,5 $trn dollars by 2007 and in the last years they have grown at a high pace, fostered by high commodity prices. Therefore, SEAs have surpassed the 10 $trn mark (around 5% of global assets and 15% of global GDP). This paper argues that reserves and SWF assets should be jointly considered for the assessment of global imbalances. Both are official capital outflows from developing to developed countries, both hinder internal adjustment in current account surplus countries, both help to cover the financing needs of deficit countries, in particular in the US, and, therefore, both contribute to sustain global imbalances. The importance of SEAs in financing the external imbalances of the US has been widely recognised but scantly measured. Our rule-of-thumb calculations suggests that they have greatly increased their importance in the last years, having surpassed the US$ trillion increase in 2007; relative to US financing needs, this amount represents around a 135% and 50% of net and gross needs, respectively, in 2007. Reserves have in the last years contributed 80% and SWFs 20%.Looking ahead, two main conclusions can be put forward: 1) the relative importance SWFs in the financing of the US deficits and global imbalances is set to increase (also relative to reserves), but this is conditional to commodity prices remaining at high levels. On the one hand, the economic motivation of SWFs -intertemporal smoothing- is more palatable than that of reserves (exchange rate management), despite political concerns on SWFs; on the other hand, SWFs do not have significant internal costs, contrary to reserves, whose monetary and fiscal costs are increasing in the margin; 2) SEAs can well buttress US financial needs in the years ahead, providing resilience to the global imbalances. Dramatic shifts in the pace of SEAs accumulation -due for instance to an adjustment of commodity prices- or in the investment allocation would jeopardise these prospects.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/08/Fic/dt0834e.pdf
File Function: First version, February 2009
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 0834.

as in new window
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0834

Contact details of provider:
Email:
Web page: http://www.bde.es/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: international reserves; sovereign wealth funds; global imbalances; exchange rates;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2004. "Why doesn't capital flow from rich to poor countries? An empirical investigation," 2004 Meeting Papers 53, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Roland Beck & Michael Fidora, 2008. "The impact of sovereign wealth funds on global financial markets," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(6), pages 349-358, November.
  4. Edwin M. Truman, 2007. "Sovereign Wealth Funds: The Need for Greater Transparency and Accountability," Policy Briefs PB07-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  5. M S Mohanty & Philip Turner, 2005. "Intervention: what are the domestic consequences?," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Foreign exchange market intervention in emerging markets: motives, techniques and implications, volume 24, pages 56-81 Bank for International Settlements.
  6. Enrique Alberola & José María Serena, 2007. "Global financial integration, monetary policy and reserve accumulation. Assessing the limits in emerging economies," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0706, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Chhaochharia, Vidhi & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Sovereign Wealth Funds: Their Investment Strategies and Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Maurice Obstfeld, 2009. "2009 International Conference "Financial System and Monetary Policy Implementation," Keynote Speech, Lenders of Last Resort in a Globalized World," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 27(1), pages 35-52, November.
  2. Enrique Alberola & Aitor Erce & José María Serena, 2012. "International reserves and gross capital flows. Dynamics during financial stress," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1211, Banco de Espa�a.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 2009. "Lenders of Last Resort in a Globalized World," IMES Discussion Paper Series 09-E-18, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0834. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mar�a Beiro. Electronic Dissemination of Information Unit. Research Department. Banco de Espa�a).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.