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A brief empirical history of U.S. foreign-exchange intervention: 1973-1995

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Owen F. Humpage
  • Anna J. Schwartz

Abstract

This paper assesses U.S. foreign-exchange intervention since the inception of generalized floating. We find that intervention was by and large ineffectual. We first identify which interventions were successful according to three criteria. Then, we test whether the number of observed successes significantly exceeds the amount that would randomly occur given the near-martingale nature of daily exchange-rate changes. Finally, we investigate whether the various characteristics of an intervention - its size, frequency, or coordination - can increase the probability of success. We find that intervention did tend to moderate same-day exchange-rate movements relative to the previous day, but this effect is not robust across subperiods or currencies and it occurs infrequently. Increasing the size of an intervention increases the probability of success, but no other variable consistently makes a difference, including coordinating interventions with other central banks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0903.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0903

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Keywords: Foreign exchange administration;

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  1. Humpage, Owen F, 1999. "U.S. Intervention: Assessing the Probability of Success," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 731-47, November.
  2. LeBaron, Blake, 1999. "Technical trading rule profitability and foreign exchange intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 125-143, October.
  3. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2001. "Portfolio Balance, Price Impact, and Secret Intervention," NBER Working Papers 8356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rasmus Fatum & Michael Hutchison, 2002. "ECB Foreign Exchange Intervention and the EURO: Institutional Framework, News, and Intervention," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 413-425, October.
  5. Christopher J. Neely, 2000. "The practice of central bank intervention: looking under the hood," Working Papers 2000-028, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Edison, H.J., 1993. "The Effectiveness of Central-Bank Intervention: A Survey of the Litterature after 1982," Princeton Studies in International Economics 18, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  7. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "An analysis of recent studies of the effect of foreign exchange intervention," Working Papers 2005-030, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie David, 2001. "Currency traders and exchange rate dynamics: a survey of the US market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 439-471, August.
  9. Popper, Helen & Montgomery, John D., 2001. "Information sharing and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 295-316, December.
  10. Dominguez, Kathryn M. E., 2003. "The market microstructure of central bank intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 25-45, January.
  11. Humpage, Owen F., 2000. "The United States as an informed foreign-exchange speculator," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 287-302, December.
  12. Owen F. Humpage & William P. Osterberg, 1990. "Intervention and the foreign exchange risk premium: an empirical investigation of daily effects," Working Paper 9009, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  13. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1993. "Does Foreign-Exchange Intervention Matter? The Portfolio Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1356-69, December.
  14. Baillie, Richard T. & Humpage, Owen F. & Osterberg, William P., 2000. "Intervention from an information perspective," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 407-421, December.
  15. Bonser-Neal, Catherine & Roley, V Vance & Sellon, Gordon H, Jr, 1998. "Monetary Policy Actions, Intervention, and Exchange Rates: A Reexamination of the Empirical Relationships Using Federal Funds Rate Target Data," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(2), pages 147-77, April.
  16. Chang, Yuanchen & Taylor, Stephen J., 1998. "Intraday effects of foreign exchange intervention by the Bank of Japan1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 191-210, February.
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