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Current account adjustment with high financial integration: a scenario analysis

  • Michele Cavallo
  • Cédric Tille

A narrowing of the U.S. current account deficit through exchange rate movements is likely to entail a substantial depreciation of the dollar. We assess how the adjustment is affected by the high degree of international financial integration, with exchange rate movements having a direct valuation impact on international assets and liabilities. In particular, a dollar depreciation generates a capital gain for the United States by boosting the value of its assets that are denominated in foreign currencies. We consider an adjustment scenario in which the U.S. net external debt is held constant. One key finding is that while the current account moves into balance, the pace of adjustment is smooth. Intuitively, the valuation gains stemming from the depreciation of the dollar allow the United States to finance ongoing, albeit shrinking, current account deficits. We find that the smooth pattern of adjustment is robust to alternative scenarios, although the ultimate movements in exchange rates are affected.

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

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 31-45

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:2006:p:31-45
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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4f63x50j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, 08.
  3. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
  5. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Working Papers 11589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "Savings Gluts and Interest Rates: The Missing Link to Europe," NBER Working Papers 11520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michele Cavallo & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?," Working Paper Series 2006-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Linda S. Goldberg & Cedric Tille, 2005. "Vehicle currency use in international trade," Staff Reports 200, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
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