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The Crisis in the Foreign Exchange Market

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  • Michael Melvin
  • Mark P. Taylor

Abstract

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 had major implications for the foreign exchange market. We review events and implications for exchange rates, volatility, returns to currency investing, and transaction costs. This “blow-by-blow” narrative is intended to be a resource for researchers seeking a comprehensive review of the “what, why and when” of the financial crisis in terms of foreign exchange market dynamics. An implementable financial stress index (FSI) is created and then used to illustrate the dramatic nature of the current crisis compared to earlier crises. We also examine how the global FSI might have been used to condition the exposure to the carry trade (long high interest rate currencies, short low interest rate currencies) and we show that such an index has potential value in protecting a portfolio against loss during periods of stress, although this result is subject to the important caveats of controlling for transaction costs and timely recognition of the change in regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Melvin & Mark P. Taylor, 2009. "The Crisis in the Foreign Exchange Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 2707, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2707
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2707.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Illing, Mark & Liu, Ying, 2006. "Measuring financial stress in a developed country: An application to Canada," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 243-265, October.
    2. Clarida, Richard & Davis, Josh & Pedersen, Niels, 2009. "Currency carry trade regimes: Beyond the Fama regression," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1375-1389, December.
    3. Cai, Jun & Cheung, Yan-Leung & Lee, Raymond S. K. & Melvin, Michael, 2001. "'Once-in-a-generation' yen volatility in 1998: fundamentals, intervention, and order flow," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 327-347, June.
    4. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial crisis; foreign exchange; exchange rates; transaction costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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