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The Asian liquidity crisis

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  • Roberto Chang
  • Andres Velasco

Abstract

A country's financial system is internationally illiquid if its potential short-term obligations in foreign currency exceed the amount of foreign currency it can have access to in short notice. This condition may be necessary and sufficient for financial crises and/or exchange rate collapses (Chang and Velasco 1998a, b). In this paper we argue that the 1997-98 crises in Asia were in fact a consequence of international illiquidity. This follows from an analysis of empirical indicators of illiquidity as well as other macroeconomic statistics. We trace the emergence of illiquidity to financial liberalization, the shortening of the foreign debt structure, and the currency denomination of assets versus liabilities. We explain how financial crises became exchange rate collapses due to a government policy of both fixing exchange rates and acting as lender of last resort. Finally, we outline the policy implications of our view for preventing crises and for dealing with them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 98-11.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:98-11

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Keywords: Banks and banking; Central ; International finance ; Liquidity (Economics) ; Monetary policy ; Money supply;

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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of death foretold," International Finance Discussion Papers 545, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996. "The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context," IDB Publications 5819, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Jeffrey Sachs & Aaron Tornell & Andres Velasco, 1996. "The Mexican Peso Crisis: Sudden Death or Death Foretold?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1760, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  5. Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1997. "Capital Flows and the Twin Crises," IMF Working Papers 97/87, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Douglas W. Diamond, . "Liquidity, Banks and Markets," CRSP working papers 326, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
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  9. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "What caused the Asian currency and financial crisis?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-373, October.
  11. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial crises in emerging markets: a canonical model," Working Paper 98-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Velasco, Andres, 1987. "Financial crises and balance of payments crises : A simple model of the southern cone experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 263-283, October.
  14. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  16. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 6606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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