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Exchange market pressure and absorption by international reserves: Emerging markets and fear of reserve loss during the 2008–2009 crisis

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Hutchison, Michael M.

Abstract

This paper evaluates how the global financial crisis emanating from the U.S. was transmitted to emerging markets. Our focus is on the extent that the crisis caused external market pressures (EMP), and whether the absorption of the shock was mainly through exchange rate depreciation or the loss of international reserves. Controlling for variety of factors associated with EMP, we find clear evidence that emerging markets with higher total foreign liabilities, including short- and long-term debt, equities, FDI and derivative products—had greater exposure and were much more vulnerable to the financial crisis. Countries with large balance sheet exposure – high external portfolio liabilities exceeding international reserves—absorbed the global shock by allowing greater exchange rate depreciation and comparatively less reserve loss. Despite the remarkable buildup of international reserves by emerging markets during the period prior to the financial crisis, countries relied primarily on exchange rate deprecation rather than reserve loss to absorb most of the exchange market pressure shock. This could reflect a deliberate choice (“fear of reserve loss”) or market actions that caused very rapid exchange rate adjustment, especially in emerging markets with open capital markets, overwhelming policy actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael M., 2012. "Exchange market pressure and absorption by international reserves: Emerging markets and fear of reserve loss during the 2008–2009 crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1076-1091.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:31:y:2012:i:5:p:1076-1091 DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2011.12.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2012. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From ‘fear of floating’ to the ‘fear of losing international reserves’?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 250-269.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2010. "The immoderate world economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 603-614, June.
    4. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "New Estimation Of China'S Exchange Rate Regime," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, pages 346-360.
    5. Girton, Lance & Roper, Don, 1977. "A Monetary Model of Exchange Market Pressure Applied to the Postwar Canadian Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 537-548, September.
    6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & George Saravelos, 2010. "Are Leading Indicators of Financial Crises Useful for Assessing Country Vulnerability? Evidence from the 2008-09 Global Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takatoshi Ito, 2016. "A New Financial Order in Asia: Will a RMB bloc emerge?," NBER Working Papers 22755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Corneli, Flavia & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2016. "Sovereign debt and reserves with liquidity and productivity crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 166-194.
    3. Josifidis, Kosta & Allegret, Jean-Pierre & Gimet, Céline & Pucar, Emilija Beker, 2014. "Macroeconomic policy responses to financial crises in emerging European economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 577-591.
    4. Jonathan Scott Davis, 2017. "External debt and monetary policy autonomy," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 35(82), pages 53-63, April.
    5. Aizenman, Joshua & Binici, Mahir, 2016. "Exchange market pressure in OECD and emerging economies: Domestic vs. external factors and capital flows in the old and new normal," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 65-87.
    6. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Audrey Sallenave, 2015. "The role of international reserves holding in buffering external shocks," Working Papers hal-01660235, HAL.
    7. Feldkircher, Martin & Horvath, Roman & Rusnak, Marek, 2014. "Exchange market pressures during the financial crisis: A Bayesian model averaging evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 21-41.
    8. Cheng, Gong, 2015. "Balance sheet effects, foreign reserves and public policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 146-165.
    9. Jonathan Scott Davis, 2017. "External debt and monetary policy autonomy," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 35(82), pages 53-63, April.
    10. Wang, Xi & Yang, Jiao-Hui & Wang, Kai-Li & Fawson, Christopher, 2017. "Dynamic information spillovers in intraregionally-focused spot and forward currency markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 78-110.
    11. Jean Pierre Allegret, 2012. "Responses of Monetary Authorities in Emerging Economies to International Financial Crises: What Do We Really know?," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, pages 3-32.
    12. Pyun, Ju Hyun & An, Jiyoun, 2016. "Capital and credit market integration and real economic contagion during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 172-193.
    13. Christian von Haldenwang & Maksym Ivanyna, 2017. "Does the political resource curse affect public finance? The vulnerability of tax revenue in resource-rich countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 007, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Bussière, Matthieu & Cheng, Gong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Lisack, Noëmie, 2015. "For a few dollars more: Reserves and growth in times of crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 127-145.
    15. Cheng, Gong, 2015. "Balance sheet effects, foreign reserves and public policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 146-165.
    16. Adams-Kane, Jonathon & Lopez, Claude & Wilhelmus, Jakob, 2016. "2016 Global Opportunity Index," MPRA Paper 73720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:605-615 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Atilgan, Yigit & Demirtas, K. Ozgur & Simsek, Koray D., 2016. "Derivative markets in emerging economies: A survey," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-102.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exchange market pressure; International reserves; Balance sheet exposure; Crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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