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Dollar appreciation in 2008: safe haven, carry trades, dollar shortage and overhedging

  • Robert N McCauley
  • Patrick McGuire

This feature argues that a combination of factors caused the surprising US dollar appreciation in the second half of 2008. Both the global flight to safety into US Treasury bills and the reversal of carry trades amidst the crisis were sources of dollar strength. In addition, the surge in dollar funding costs in the interbank and FX swap markets provided price incentives for corporates to draw on non-dollar funding to pay down existing dollar debt. Finally, dollar asset writedowns left European banks and institutional investors outside the United States with overhedged dollar books. The squaring of their positions, which required dollar purchases, also boosted the currency.

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Article provided by Bank for International Settlements in its journal BIS Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): (December)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:bis:bisqtr:0912i
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  1. John Cairns & Corrinne Ho & Robert McCauley, 2007. "Exchange rates and global volatility: implications for Asia-Pacific currencies," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  2. Jacob Gyntelberg & Eli M Remolona, 2007. "Risk in carry trades: a look at target currencies in Asia and the Pacific," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  3. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Sophie Béreau & Valérie Mignon, 2009. "The Dollar in the Turmoil," Working Papers 2009-08, CEPII research center.
  4. Alejandro Jara & Ramon Moreno & Camilo E Tovar, 2009. "The global crisis and Latin America: financial impact and policy responses," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, June.
  5. Kaul, Aditya & Sapp, Stephen, 2006. "Y2K fears and safe haven trading of the U.S. dollar," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 760-779, August.
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