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On the evolution of U.S. foreign-exchange-market intervention: thesis, theory, and institutions

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Owen F. Humpage
  • Anna J. Schwartz

Attitudes about foreign-exchange-market intervention in the United States evolved in tandem with views about monetary policy as policy makers grappled with the perennial problem of having more economic objectives than independent instruments with which to achieve them. This paper—the introductory chapter to our history of U.S. foreign exchange market intervention—explains this thesis and summarizes our conclusion: The Federal Reserve abandoned frequent foreign-exchange-market intervention because, rather than providing a solution to the instruments-versus-objectives problem, it interfered with the Federal Reserve’s ability to credibly commit to low and stable inflation. This chapter also provides a theoretical discussion of intervention, background on U.S. institutions for conducting intervention, and a roadmap to the remainder of our book.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 1113.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1113
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  1. Mark P. Taylor, 2005. "Official Foreign Exchange Intervention As A Coordinating Signal In The Dollar-Yen Market," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 73-82, 02.
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  8. Baillie, Richard T. & Osterberg, William P., 1997. "Why do central banks intervene?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 909-919, December.
  9. Anna J. Schwartz, 1996. "From Obscurity to Notoriety: A Biography of the Exchange Stabilization Fund," NBER Working Papers 5699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Popper, Helen & Montgomery, John D., 2001. "Information sharing and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 295-316, December.
  11. Almekinders, G.J. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1994. "Daily Bundesbank and federal reserve interventions : Are they a reaction to changes in the level and volatility of the DM/$-rate?," Other publications TiSEM e583abfb-39f0-4c9d-8848-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1996. "Does foreign exchange intervention signal future monetary policy?," Working Papers 96-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. Fatum, Rasmus & Hutchison, Michael, 1999. "Is Intervention a Signal of Future Monetary Policy? Evidece from the Federal Funds Futures Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 54-69, February.
  14. Almekinders, G.J. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1996. "A friction model of daily Bundesbank and Federal Reserve intervention," Other publications TiSEM 9ca974cc-1549-4752-8dbe-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  15. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Weller, Paul, 1992. "The Advantage to Hiding One's Hand: Speculation and Central Bank Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Reitz, Stefan & Taylor, Mark P., 2008. "The coordination channel of foreign exchange intervention: A nonlinear microstructural analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 55-76, January.
  17. Humpage, Owen F, 1999. "U.S. Intervention: Assessing the Probability of Success," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 731-47, November.
  18. Edison, H.J., 1993. "The Effectiveness of Central-Bank Intervention: A Survey of the Litterature after 1982," Princeton Studies in International Economics 18, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  19. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2001. "Portfolio Balance, Price Impact, and Secret Intervention," NBER Working Papers 8356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Baillie, Richard T. & Humpage, Owen F. & Osterberg, William P., 2000. "Intervention from an information perspective," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 407-421, December.
  21. Reeves, Silke Fabian, 1997. "Exchange rate management when sterilized interventions represent signals of monetary policy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 339-360.
  22. Osler, C. L., 1998. "Short-term speculators and the puzzling behaviour of exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 37-57, June.
  23. William P. Osterberg & James B. Thomson, 1999. "The Exchange Stabilization Fund: how it works," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
  24. Aguilar, Javiera & Nydahl, Stefan, 2000. "Central bank intervention and exchange rates: the case of Sweden," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 303-322, December.
  25. John B. Carlson & Jean M. McIntire & James B. Thomson, 1995. "Federal funds futures as an indicator of future monetary policy: a primer," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 20-30.
  26. Bonser-Neal, Catherine & Roley, V Vance & Sellon, Gordon H, Jr, 1998. "Monetary Policy Actions, Intervention, and Exchange Rates: A Reexamination of the Empirical Relationships Using Federal Funds Rate Target Data," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(2), pages 147-77, April.
  27. Christopher J. Neely, 1998. "Technical analysis and the profitability of U.S. foreign exchange intervention," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 3-17.
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