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Profitability of Reserve Bank Foreign Exchange Operations: Twenty Years After the Float

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  • Chris Becker

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Michael Sinclair

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

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    Abstract

    Since the float of the Australian dollar in December 1983, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has retained the discretion to intervene in the foreign exchange markets in order to avoid what it perceives to be large overshooting in the currency. In this paper we invoke the ‘profit test’ first advocated by Friedman to assess whether the RBA’s foreign exchange operations have had a stabilising influence on the exchange rate. We do this over the entire post-float period, as well as for each of the three distinct cycles in the exchange rate during that period. The premise underlying the profit test is that if the central bank has made a profit from intervention in its currency, it must have ‘bought low and sold high’, which would work towards stabilising the exchange rate. Since the float, the RBA has made a profit of A$5.2 billion on its intervention operations, with profits made in each of the three cycles. The paper concludes that the profitability of intervention suggests that the RBA’s operations have had a stabilising influence on the exchange rate.

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    File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2004/pdf/rdp2004-06.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2004-06.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2004-06

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    Related research

    Keywords: intervention; profit test; foreign exchange rate; overshooting;

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    References

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    1. Mark P. Taylor & Lucio Sarno, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective and, If So, How Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 839-868, September.
    2. Michael McKenzie, 2004. "An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Central Bank Intervention and Exchange Rate Volatility: Some Australian Evidence," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 59-74, 03.
    3. Jonathan Kearns & Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identifying the Efficacy of Central Bank Interventions: Evidence from Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Rogers, J. M. & Siklos, P. L., 2003. "Foreign exchange market intervention in two small open economies: the Canadian and Australian experience," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 393-416, June.
    5. repec:fth:sydnec:99-05 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kim, Suk-Joong & Sheen, Jeffrey, 2002. "The determinants of foreign exchange intervention by central banks: evidence from Australia," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 619-649, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Augusto de la Torre & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Samuel Pienknagura, . "Latin America’s Deceleration and the Exchange Rate Buffer : LAC Semiannual Report, October 2013," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16107, The World Bank.
    2. Buncic, Daniel & Melecky, Martin, 2007. "An estimated New Keynesian policy model for Australia," MPRA Paper 4138, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kim, Suk-Joong, 2007. "Intraday evidence of efficacy of 1991-2004 Yen intervention by the Bank of Japan," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 341-360, October.

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