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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. Almekinders, Geert J & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W, 1994. "Daily Bundesbank and Federal Reserve Interventions: Are They a Reaction to Changes in the Level and Volatility of the DM/$-Rate?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 111-30.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reitz, Stefan & Taylor, Mark P., 2006. "The coordination channel of foreign exchange intervention: a nonlinear microstructural analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1993. "Does foreign exchange intervention signal future monetary policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Weller, Paul, 1997. "The advantage to hiding one's hand: Speculation and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 251-277, July.
  7. Almekinders, Geert J. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W., 1996. "A friction model of daily Bundesbank and Federal Reserve intervention," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1365-1380, September.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, . "Is Intervention a Signal of Future Monetary Policy? Evidence from the Federal Funds Futures Market," EPRU Working Paper Series 96-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  11. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "An analysis of recent studies of the effect of foreign exchange intervention," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 685-718.
  12. Christopher J. Neely, 2001. "The practice of central bank intervention: looking under the hood," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 1-10.
  13. 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.
  14. Schwartz, Anna J, 1997. "From Obscurity to Notoriety: A Biography of the Exchange Stabilization Fund," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 135-53, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Bank for International Settlements, 2005. "Foreign exchange market intervention in emerging markets: motives, techniques and implications," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 24, March.
  17. Yin-Wong Cheung & Menzie D. Chinn, 2000. "Currency Traders and Exchange Rate Dynamics: A Survey of the U.S. Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 251, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. 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.
  19. Christopher J. Neely, 2007. "Central bank authorities’ beliefs about foreign exchange intervention," Working Papers 2006-045, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  20. Hung, Juann H, 1997. "Intervention strategies and exchange rate volatility: a noise trading perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 779-793, September.
  21. William P. Osterberg & James B. Thomson, 1999. "The Exchange Stabilization Fund: how it works," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
  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. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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,.
  26. 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.
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