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Prospective deficits and the Asian currency crisis

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  • Craig Burnside
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Sergio Rebelo

Abstract

This paper argues that the recent Southeast Asian currency crisis was caused by large prospective deficits associated with implicit bailout guarantees to failing banking systems. We articulate this view using a simple dynamic general equilibrium model whose key feature is that a speculative attack is inevitable once the present value of future government deficits rises. This is true regardless of the government's foreign reserve position or the initial level of its debt. While the government cannot prevent a speculative attack, it can affect its timing. The longer the delay, the higher inflation will be under flexible exchange rates. We present empirical evidence in support of the three key assumptions in our model: (i) foreign reserves did not play a special role in the timing the attack, (ii) large reserves in the banking sector were associated with large increases in governments' prospective deficits, and (iii) the public knew that banks were in trouble before the currency crises.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-98-5.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-5

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Keywords: Financial crises - Asia ; Foreign exchange rates ; Monetary policy ; Money;

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References

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  1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 343, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Feenstra, Robert C, 1985. "Anticipated Devaluations, Currency Flight, and Direct Trade Controls in a Monetary Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 386-401, June.
  4. Rebelo, S. & Xie, D., 1996. "On the Optimality of Interest Rate Smoothing," RCER Working Papers 427, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  7. Burnside, A Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1998. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 2015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
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  16. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based-Stabilizations," NBER Working Papers 7862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Koenig, Evan F, 1987. "The Short-run 'Tobin Effect' in a Monetary Optimizing Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 43-53, January.
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  19. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
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  21. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Michael P. Dooley, 1998. "A model of crises in emerging markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 630, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Drazen, Allan & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Stabilization with Exchange Rate Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 835-55, November.
  25. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1987. "Balance of Payments Crises in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 19-32, February.
  26. Dupor, Bill, 2000. "Exchange rates and the fiscal theory of the price level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 613-630, June.
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