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Reverse speculative attacks

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  • Amador, Manuel
  • Bianchi, Javier
  • Bocola, Luigi
  • Perri, Fabrizio

Abstract

In January 2015, in the face of sustained capital inflows, the Swiss National Bank abandoned the floor for the Swiss Franc against the Euro, a decision which led to the appreciation of the Swiss Franc. The objective of this paper is to present a simple numerical framework that helps to better understand the timing of this episode, which we label a “reverse speculative attack”. We model a central bank which wishes to maintain a peg, and responds to increases in demand for domestic currency by expanding its balance sheet. In contrast to the classic speculative attacks, which are triggered by the depletion of foreign assets, reverse attacks are triggered by the concern of future balance sheet losses. Our key result is that the interaction between the desire to maintain the peg and the concern about future losses, can lead the central bank to first accumulate a large amount of reserves, and then to abandon the peg, just as we have observed in the Swiss case.

Suggested Citation

  • Amador, Manuel & Bianchi, Javier & Bocola, Luigi & Perri, Fabrizio, 2016. "Reverse speculative attacks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 125-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:72:y:2016:i:c:p:125-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2016.04.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Cavallo & Marco Del Negro & W. Scott Frame & Jamie Grasing & Benjamin A. Malin & Carlo Rosa, 2019. "Fiscal Implications of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet Normalization," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 15(5), pages 255-306, December.
    2. Berhold, Kerstin & Stadtmann, Georg, 2017. "Who put the holes in the Swiss cheese? Currency crisis under appreciation pressure," Discussion Papers 391, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Markus Hertrich, 2022. "Foreign exchange interventions under a minimum exchange rate regime and the Swiss franc," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 450-489, May.
    4. Jörg Bibow, 2018. "Unconventional monetary policies and central bank profits," IMK Studies 62-2018, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    5. Lorena Keller, 2018. "Prudential Capital Controls and Risk Misallocation: Bank Lending Channel," 2018 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Barry Eichengreen, 2023. "The Danish problem," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 40(3), pages 781-794, October.
    7. Yu‐Fu Chen & Michael Funke & Richhild Moessner, 2018. "Informal one‐sided target zone model and the Swiss franc," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 1130-1153, November.
    8. Binding, Garret & Dibiasi, Andreas, 2017. "Exchange rate uncertainty and firm investment plans evidence from Swiss survey data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-27.
    9. Kämpf, Vanessa & Stadtmann, Georg & Zimmermann, Lilli, 2023. "Swiss National Bank: Is the recent loss a threat to monetary policy? A research note," Discussion Papers 429, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    10. Javier Bianchi, 2022. "The Research Agenda: Javier Bianchi on Financial Crises and Prudential Policies," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 23(1), April.
    11. Pinter, Julien & Pourroy, Marc, 2023. "How can financial constraints force a central bank to exit a currency peg? An application to the Swiss franc peg," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    12. Manuel Amador & Javier Bianchi & Luigi Bocola & Fabrizio Perri, 2020. "Exchange Rate Policies at the Zero Lower Bound," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 1605-1645.
    13. Rey, Hélène & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2016. "Real Interest Rates, Imbalances and the Curse of Regional Safe Asset Providers at the Zero Lower Bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 11503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Hertrich, Markus, 2020. "Foreign exchange interventions under a one-sided target zone regime and the Swiss franc," Discussion Papers 21/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fixed exchange rates; Currency crises; Balance sheet concerns;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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