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Bretton Woods II and the Emerging Economies: Lazarus, Phoenix, or Humpty Dumpty?

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  • Arslan Razmi

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    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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    Abstract

    Several studies have commented on the emergence of a new interna- tional monetary system in the post-Asian crisis years. The current inter- national financial crisis has, however, put the so-called Bretton Woods II under considerable strain. This paper analyzes the sustainability of the pre-Lehman Brothers international monetary system from an emerging country perspective. A simple framework in which agents have a choice between financial and real assets is constructed in order to explore possi- ble consequences of some of the shocks that emerging economies are cur- rently experiencing. Stock and flow implications are analyzed. Assuming that recent events would have reinforced monetary authorities' desire to maintain an adequate cushion of reserves while preventing exchange rate volatility, we find that the response to most shocks would involve running continuous current account surpluses, that is, a continuation of a crucial aspect of Bretton Woods II. Given political and economic constraints, is such a continuation feasible? A preliminary exploration raises serious doubts and skims alternatives. JEL Categories: F02, F32, F36,

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    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2009-02.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2009-02

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