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A case study of a currency crisis: the Russian default of 1998

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  • Abbigail J. Chiodo
  • Michael T. Owyang

Abstract

This paper uses a currency crisis framework to analyze the currency devaluation and debt default of post-Soviet Russia in August 1998. The authors show that even though the Russian economy recorded positive growth immediately preceding the default, the atmosphere was reflective of an impending crisis. The authors then consider the symptoms of a currency crisis—specifically public and private debt responsibilities, devaluation expectations, and contractionary monetary policy—and show that they were present in Russia at that time. Three generations of currency crisis models are reviewed, followed by speculation that the Russian default was a product not only of fiscal deficits but also of a fragile financial system and contractionary monetary policy. The authors address the possibility that the usual prescription for a currency crisis, that is, increasing interest rates, may have accelerated the default and that a case-by-case prescription may afford a better solution than a blanket policy of increasing interest rates in the face of devaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "A case study of a currency crisis: the Russian default of 1998," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 7-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2002:i:nov:p:7-18:n:v.84no.6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2000. "A simple model of monetary policy and currency crises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 728-738, May.
    2. V. Popov, 2000. "Lessons of the Currency Crisis in Russia and in Other Countries," Problems of Economic Transition, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 45-73.
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    4. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Dohmen & Hartmut F. Lehmann & Mark E. Schaffer, 2014. "Wage Policies of a Russian Firm and the Financial Crisis of 1998: Evidence from Personnel Data, 1997 to 2002," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(2), pages 504-531, April.
    2. repec:eee:rujoec:v:1:y:2015:i:4:p:386-403 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "The role of the IMF in recent sovereign debt restructurings: Implications for the policy of lending into arrears," Occasional Papers 0805, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    4. Kemme, David M. & Roy, Saktinil, 2006. "Real exchange rate misalignment: Prelude to crisis?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 207-230, October.
    5. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Tomáš Slacík, 2007. "Predicting Currency Crises Using the Term Structure of Relative Interest Rates: Case Studies of the Czech Republic and Russia," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 135-149.
    6. Bank for International Settlements, 2011. "The impact of sovereign credit risk on bank funding conditions," CGFS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 43.
    7. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "Recent episodes of sovereign debt restructurings. A case-study approach," Occasional Papers 0804, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    8. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Tomas Slacik, 2010. "An almost-too-late warning mechanism for currency crises," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(1), pages 123-141, January.
    9. Vitor Gaspar & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Stability First: Reflections Inspired by Otmar Issing's Success as the ECB's Chief Economist," NBER Working Papers 12277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Miljkovic, Dragan & Glazyrina, Anna, 2015. "The impact of socio-economic policy on total fertility rate in Russia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 961-973.
    11. Teimouri, Sheida & Zietz, Joachim, 2017. "Economic costs of alternative monetary policy responses to speculative currency attacks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 419-434.
    12. Alexander Erler & Steffen Sirries & Christian Bauer & Bernhard Herz, 2015. "Exchange Market Pressure and Monetary Policy in Emerging Market Economies: New Evidence from Treatment-effect Estimations," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 470-485, August.
    13. Flores Zendejas, Juan, 2015. "Capital Markets and Sovereign Defaults: A Historical Perspective," Working Papers unige:73325, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    14. Erler, Alexander & Bauer, Christian & Herz, Bernhard, 2015. "To intervene, or not to intervene: Monetary policy and the costs of currency crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 432-456.
    15. Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, 2012. "Some Possible Consequences of a U.S. Government Default," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(1), pages 24-40, January.
    16. Hasanov, Fakhri J. & Bulut, Cihan & Suleymanov, Elchin, 2016. "Do population age groups matter in the energy use of the oil-exporting countries?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 82-99.
    17. Gina Ioan, 2012. "The Economic Crises of the Last Two Decades - Ignored Warnings," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 2(31), pages 23-29, May.
    18. Ketenci, Natalya, 2015. "Capital mobility in Russia," Russian Journal of Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 386-403.
    19. Dobler, Constanze & Hagemann, Harald, 2011. "Economic growth in the post-socialist Russian Federation after 1991: The role of Institutions," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 34/2011, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
    20. ViniÌ cius de Azevedo Couto Firme & JoaniÌ lio Rodolpho Teixeira, 2014. "Index of Macroeconomic Performance for a Subset of Countries: A Kaldorian Analysis from the Magic Square Approach Focusing on Brazilian Economy in the Period 1997-2012," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(5), pages 527-542, October.

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    Keywords

    Financial crises - Russia ; Russia;

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