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Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crises

  • Burnside, Craig
  • Eichenbaum, Martin
  • Rebelo, Sérgio

This paper argues that the recent Southeast Asian currency crises was caused by large prospective deficits associated with implicit bailout guarantees to failing banking systems. We articulate this view using a simple dynamic general equilibrium model whose key feature is that a speculative attack is inevitable once the present value of future government deficits rises. This is true regardless of the government's foreign reserve position or the initial level of its debt. While the government cannot prevent a speculative attack, it can affect its timing. The longer the delay, the higher inflation will be under flexible exchange rates. In our model we present empirical evidence in support of the three key assumptions: (i) that foreign reserves did not play a special role in the timing of the attack; (ii) that large losses in the banking sector were associated with large increases in governments' prospective deficits; and (iii) that the public knew that banks were in trouble before the currency rate crises.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2015.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2015
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  1. Feenstra, Robert C, 1985. "Anticipated Devaluations, Currency Flight, and Direct Trade Controls in a Monetary Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 386-401, June.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 343, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "Speculative Attack and the External Constraint in a Maximizing Model of the Balance of Payments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(1), pages 1-22, February.
  5. Burnside, C. & Eichenbaum, M. & Rebelo, S., 1998. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis," RCER Working Papers 458, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  14. Drazen, Allan & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Stabilization with Exchange Rate Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 835-55, November.
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  18. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  19. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1999. "Inflation stabilization and bop crises in developing countries," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1531-1614 Elsevier.
  23. Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1997. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Working Papers 97/79, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Rebelo, S. & Xie, D., 1996. "On the Optimality of Interest Rate Smoothing," RCER Working Papers 427, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  25. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1987. "Balance of Payments Crises in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 19-32, February.
  26. Timothy D. Lane & Marianne Schulze-Gattas & T. M. Tsikata & Steven Phillips & Atish R. Ghosh & A. Javier Hamann, 1999. "IMF-Supported Programs in Indonesia, Korea and Thailand," IMF Occasional Papers 178, International Monetary Fund.
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