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Payments-related intraday credit differentials and the emergence of a vehicle currency


  • Sujit Bob Chakravorti


The U.S. dollar serves as a vehicle currency or medium of exchange in the global foreign exchange markets. After reviewing some of the existing theories on vehicle currencies, the hypothesis put forth is that the dollar's role is linked to the relatively low cost of payments-related intraday credit available to payment system participants. Differences in the types of measures used by payment system operators to reduce settlement and systemic risk in the payment system give rise to liquidity differentials between currencies. ; After reviewing the types of intraday credit facilities extended to participants on payment systems settling the major currencies, a foreign exchange market is simulated. Results from the simulation indicate that if there are sufficient differences in the availability of intraday credit between one settlement system and the others, a vehicle currency emerges. Furthermore, vehicle currency trades have narrower bid-ask spreads than other foreign exchange transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sujit Bob Chakravorti, 1997. "Payments-related intraday credit differentials and the emergence of a vehicle currency," Financial Industry Studies Working Paper 97-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddfi:97-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Vehicle Currencies and the Structure of International Exchange," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(3), pages 513-526, August.
    2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Vittorio Grilli & Nouriel Roubini, 1990. "Exchange Rate Volatility in Integrating Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 3570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
    4. Jones, Robert A, 1976. "The Origin and Development of Media of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 757-775, August.
    5. Tavlas, G.S., 1991. "On the International Use of Currencies: the Case of the Deutsche Mark," Princeton Studies in International Economics 181, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    6. Dirk Schoenmaker & Peter M. Garber & D. F. I. Folkerts-Landau, 1996. "The Reform of Wholesale Payment Systems and its Impacton Financial Markets," IMF Working Papers 96/37, International Monetary Fund.
    7. George R. Juncker & Bruce J. Summers & Florence M. Young, 1991. "A primer on the settlement of payments in the United States," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Nov, pages 847-858.
    8. Oh, Seonghwan, 1989. "A theory of a generally acceptable medium of exchange and barter," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 101-119, January.
    9. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1971. "The Uses of Money: Money in the Theory of an Exchange Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 784-805, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakravorti, Sujit, 2000. "Analysis of systemic risk in multilateral net settlement systems," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 9-30, January.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance


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