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Exchange Market Pressure and Absorption by International Reserves: Emerging Markets and Fear of Reserve Loss During the 2008-09 Crisis

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Hutchison, Michael

Abstract

This paper evaluates how the global financial crisis emanating from theU.S. was transmitted to emerging markets. Our focus is on the extent thatthe crisis caused external market pressures (EMP), and whether theabsorption of the shock was mainly through exchange rate depreciation orthe loss of international reserves. Controlling for variety of factorsassociated with EMP, we find clear evidence that emerging markets withhigher total foreign liabilities, including short- and long-term debt,equities, FDI and derivative products—had greater exposure and weremuch more vulnerable to the financial crisis. Countries with large balancesheet exposure -- high external portfolio liabilities exceeding internationalreserves—absorbed the global shock by allowing greater exchange ratedepreciation and comparatively less reserve loss. Despite the remarkablebuildup of international reserves by emerging markets during the periodprior to the financial crisis, countries relied primarily on exchange ratedepreciation rather than reserve loss to absorb most of the exchangemarket pressure shock. This could reflect a deliberate choice (“fear ofreserve loss†or competitive depreciations) or market actions that causedvery rapid exchange rate adjustment, especially in emerging markets withopen capital markets, overwhelming policy actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael, 2010. "Exchange Market Pressure and Absorption by International Reserves: Emerging Markets and Fear of Reserve Loss During the 2008-09 Crisis," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8g25f4qs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt8g25f4qs
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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 & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Global imbalances and the financial crisis: products of common causes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct, pages 131-172.
    4. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2010. "The immoderate world economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 603-614, June.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "New Estimation Of China'S Exchange Rate Regime," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 346-360, August.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
    9. Stephan Danninger & Irina Tytell & Ravi Balakrishnan & Selim Elekdag, 2009. "The Transmission of Financial Stress from Advanced to Emerging Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/133, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheng, Gong, 2015. "A Growth Perspective On Foreign Reserve Accumulation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(06), pages 1358-1379, September.
    2. Luis Servén & Ha Nguyen, 2013. "Global Imbalances: Origins and Prospects," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(2), pages 191-219, August.
    3. McCauley, Robert, 2013. "Risk-On/Risk-Off, Capital Flows, Leverage and Safe Assets," Journal of Financial Perspectives, EY Global FS Institute, vol. 1(2), pages 145-154.
    4. Jie Li, 2012. "A monetary approach to the exchange market pressure index under capital control," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(13), pages 1305-1309, September.
    5. Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2013. "Debt Redemption and Reserve Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 19098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences; Exchange market pressure; international reserves; balance sheet exposure; crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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