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The Mexican peso crisis

  • Joseph A. Whitt, Jr.
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    Hoping to avoid an economic slowdown during 1994, Mexico tried to maintain its quasi-pegged exchange rate while limiting monetary tightening by engaging in massive sterilized intervention-a policy that is not sustainable for long. The ultimate result was a collapse of the exchange rate, soaring interest rates, and probably a far worse recession than would have occurred if monetary policy had been tightened. ; The author of this article asks whether Mexican policy mistakes made devaluation of the peso inevitable, considering particularly Mexico's policy actions during 1994-as well as options Mexico did not take. He also reviews market response to the devaluation and Mexican and U.S. government efforts to cope with its aftermath. In his view this episode highlights the severe constraints on monetary policy that arise if a government wants to maintain a fixed or quasi-pegged exchange rate. ; The ensuing crisis continues to have severe consequences for the Mexican economy. Nevertheless, the author sees hope that the combination of a relatively sound budget position, more effective Mexican policies since the devaluation occurred, and the assistance arranged by the United States and the International Monetary Fund will enable Mexico to recover much more quickly from this crisis than it did after its 1982 crash.

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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1996)
    Issue (Month): Jan ()
    Pages: 1-20

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:1996:i:jan:p:1-20:n:v.80no.1
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    1. Carlos E. Zarazaga, 1995. "Argentina, Mexico, and currency boards: another case of rules versus discretion," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 14-24.
    2. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1993. "The Unstable EMS," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 51-144.
    3. Owen F. Humpage & Jean M. McIntire, 1995. "An introduction to currency boards," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-11.
    4. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
    6. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Kamin, Steven B. & Rogers, John H., 1996. "Monetary policy in the end-game to exchange-rate based stabilizations: the case of Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 285-307, November.
    8. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of a death foretold," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 235-264, November.
    11. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Michael P. Dooley & Eduardo Fernandez-Arias & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Recent Private Capital Inflows to Developing Countries: Is the Debt Crisis History?," NBER Working Papers 4792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M. & Kramer, Charles, 1996. "Collapsing exchange rate regimes: Another linear example," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 223-234, November.
    14. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
    15. Edwards, Sebastian & Edwards, Alejandra Cox, 1991. "Monetarism and Liberalization," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226184890, December.
    16. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
    17. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Masson, Paul R, 1999. "Credibility, Reputation, and the Mexican Peso Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 70-84, February.
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