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Trilemma and Financial Stability Configurations in Asia

  • Joshua Aizenman

    (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))

This paper takes stock of recent research dealing with the degree to which the trilemma choices of Asian countries facilitated a smoother adjustment during the global crisis of 2008– 2009, and the way the region has been coping with the adjustment to the postcrisis challenges. We point out that emerging Asia has converged to a middle ground of the trilemma configuration : limited financial integration, a degree of monetary independence, and controlled exchange rate buffered by sizable international reserves. This configuration, with the proper management of balance sheet exposure and public finances, facilitated a smoother adjustment of emerging Asia to the crisis, and was instrumental in inducing the rapid resumption of growth. The swings of financial flows, from large deleveraging of foreign positions in 2008 to the renewed inflows in 2010, validate the insight of the public finance approach to financial integration : the gains from deeper financial integration should be balanced against the costs of growing exposure to turbulences. A key lesson of the crisis is the need to apply a comprehensive cost/benefit approach to prudential policies, to the regulation of external borrowing and of domestic financial intermediation, and to the accumulation and use of international reserves. We illustrate these results in the context of the challenges facing emerging Asia’s adjustment during the global financial crisis, and the postcrisis policy stance dealing with the renewed inflows of capital.

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File URL: http://www.eaber.org/node/23219
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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Macroeconomics Working Papers with number 23219.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:23219
Contact details of provider: Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
Web page: http://www.eaber.org

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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Reuven Glick, 2008. "Sterilization, Monetary Policy, and Global Financial Integration," NBER Working Papers 13902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Shambaugh, Jay C & Taylor, Alan M., 2008. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers 6693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua Aizenman & Vladyslav Sushko, 2011. "Capital Flow Types, External Financing Needs, and Industrial Growth: 99 countries, 1991-2007," NBER Working Papers 17228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andrew Crockett & Chairman, 1999. "General discussion : exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 411-422.
  7. Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  10. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," Working Papers id:357, eSocialSciences.
  11. Aizenman, Joshua & Pinto, Brian & Radziwill, Artur, 2007. "Sources for financing domestic capital - Is foreign saving a viable option for developing countries?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 682-702, September.
  12. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2007. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup’s Wardrobe and the Joneses," CESifo Working Paper Series 2065, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Financial Fragility," NBER Working Papers 7418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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