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Exchange Rate Stability and Financial Stability

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  • Barry Eichengreen.

Abstract

In this paper I consider the connections between the exchange rate and the financial system, focusing on the implications of international monetary arrangements for the stability of the banking system. I ask questions like the following. Under what conditions can a currency peg jeopardize the stability of the banking system? Can adopting a peg set in motion processes that weaken the banks, themselves the linchpin of the financial system? Once the banking system weakens, how serious an obstacle is the currency peg to lender-of-last-resort intervention? While this review of the historical record shows that there is no simple mapping between exchange rate stability and financial stability, it confirms that the textbook insight about the origin of disturbances and the advantages of fixed and floating rates remains the obvious place to start. When disturbances are imported, a flexible rate provides useful insulation; when they are domestic, exchange rate stability allows them to be shared with the rest of the world and disciplines domestic policymakers. This simple logic applies directly to the stability of the banking system. When disturbances to the banking system originate abroad, exchange rate flexibility can help to insulate the banks from shocks to their funding and investments. It gives the authorities the opportunity to act as lenders of last resort. The Great Depression provides perhaps the clearest illustration: in the 1930s most countries experienced the contraction of credit and collapse of activity as an imported shock, and those which allowed their exchange rates to adjust, decoupling domestic monetary and financial conditions from those abroad, were best able to avert banking panics, and to engage in lender-of-last-resort operations. Conversely, when macroeconomic and financial shocks jeopardizing the stability of the banking system are home grown, pegging the exchange rate allows idiosyncratic disturbances to spill out into the rest of the world and imposes discipline on domestic policymakers. Argentina in the 1990s illustrates the point: by adopting a rigid currency peg it has prevented domestic policymakers from succumbing to the monetary and fiscal excesses that long destabilized its banking system.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C97-092.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1997
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c97-092

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Postal: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA
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Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/ciderwp.htm
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References

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  1. Edwards, Sebastian & Vegh, Carlos A., 1997. "Banks and macroeconomic disturbances under predetermined exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 239-278, October.
  2. Hugh Rockoff & Michael D. Bordo, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"," Departmental Working Papers 199528, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
  4. Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Dooley, Michael & Leipziger, Danny & Walsh, Carl, 1996. "The lender of last resort function under a currency board : the case of Argentina," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1648, The World Bank.
  5. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996. "The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context," Research Department Publications 4026, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Jeffrey Sachs & Aaron Tornell & Andres Velasco, 1995. "The Collapse of the Mexican Peso: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld, 1991. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," NBER Working Papers 3603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1990. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Work?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 16.
  11. Armaos, J., 1992. "Bank Runs and Partial Suspension of Convertibility," Papers 92-34, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  12. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 1994. "The Geography of the Gold Standard," CEPR Discussion Papers 1050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. C. Fred Bergsten & C. Randall Henning, 1996. "Global Economic Leadership and the Group of Seven," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 45.
  14. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 1996. "Blocs, Zones and Bands: International Monetary History in Light of Recent Theoretical Developments," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 43(4), pages 398-418, September.
  15. Paolo Savona & Aurelio Maccario, 1998. "On the Relation between Money and Derivatives and its Application to the International Monetary Market," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 637-664, January.
  16. Michele Fratianni & Andreas Hauskrecht, 1998. "From the Gold Standard to a Bipolar Monetary System," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 609-636, January.
  17. repec:fth:inadeb:318 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Liliana Rojas-Suárez & Steven R. Weisbrod, 1996. "Banking Crises in Latin America: Experience and Issues," IDB Publications 6859, Inter-American Development Bank.
  19. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
  20. Garber, Peter M. & Grilli, Vittorio U., 1986. "The Belmont-Morgan Syndicate as an optimal investment banking contract," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 649-677, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Domac, Ilker & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2003. "Banking crises and exchange rate regimes: is there a link?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 41-72, October.
  2. Dominick Salvatore, 1998. "International Monetary and Financial Arrangements: Present and Future," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 375-416, January.
  3. Deabes, Tosson, 2003. "How to Reduce the Risk Of Banking Problems," MPRA Paper 3054, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2003.
  4. Aguirre, Maria Sophia & Saidi, Reza, 2004. "Japanese banks liability management before and during the banking crises and macroeconomic fundamentals," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 373-397, April.
  5. Honohan, P. & Lane, P.R., 2000. "Will the Euro Trigger More Monetary Unions in Africa?," Research Paper 176, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  6. Alicia García Herrero & Pedro del Río, 2003. "Financial stability and the design of monetary policy," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0315, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Koichi Hamada, 1998. "The Choice of International Monetary Regimes in a Context of Repeated Games," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 417-446, January.
  8. Gerardo della Paolera & Alan M. Taylor, 2000. "Internal Versus External Convertibility and Developing-Country Financial," Macroeconomics 0004002, EconWPA.
  9. Paolo Savona & Aurelio Maccario, 1998. "On the Relation between Money and Derivatives and its Application to the International Monetary Market," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 637-664, January.
  10. Gerardo della Paolera & Alan M. Taylor, 1999. "Internal Versus External Convertibility and Developing-Country FinancialCrises: Lessons from the Argentine Bank Bailout of the 1930's," NBER Working Papers 7386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barry Eichengreen & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Staying Afloat When the Wind Shifts: External Factors and Emerging-Market Banking Crises," NBER Working Papers 6370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Joanna Tyrowicz, 2009. "When Eastern Labour Markets Enter Western Europe CEECs. Labour Market Institutions upon Euro Zone Accession," Working Papers 2009-03, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  13. Michele Fratianni & Dominick Salvatore & Paolo Savona, 1998. "Ideas for the Future of the International Monetary System: Conclusions and Remarks," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 689-700, January.
  14. della Paolera, Gerardo & Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "Internal versus external convertibility and emerging-market crises: lessons from Argentine history," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 357-389, October.
  15. Alberto Predieri, 1998. "Money Markets and Poliarchic Democratic States," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 713-726, January.
  16. Forrest Capie, 1998. "Monetary Unions in Historical Perspective: What Future for the Euro in the International Financial System," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 447-466, January.

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