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Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?

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  • Michele Cavallo
  • Cedric Tille

Abstract

A narrowing of the U.S. current account deficit through exchange rate movements is likely to entail a substantial depreciation of the dollar, as stressed in research by Obstfeld and Rogoff. We assess how the adjustment is affected by the high degree of financial integration in the world economy. A growing body of research emphasizes the increasing leverage in international financial positions, with industrialized economies holding substantial and growing financial claims on each other. Exchange rate movements then lead to valuation effects as the currency composition of a country's assets and liabilities are not matched. In particular, a dollar depreciation generates valuation gains for the United States by boosting the dollar value of much of its foreign-currency-denominated assets. We consider an adjustment scenario in which the U.S. net external debt is held constant. The key finding is that as the current account moves into balance, the pace of adjustment is smooth. Intuitively, the valuation gains from the depreciation of the dollar allow the United States to finance ongoing, albeit shrinking, current account deficits. We find that the smooth pattern of adjustment is robust to alternative scenarios, although the ultimate movements in exchange rates will vary under different conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Cavallo & Cedric Tille, 2006. "Could capital gains smooth a current account rebalancing?," Staff Reports 237, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 67-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Josep Lluís CARRION-I-SILVESTRE & Mariam CAMARERO & Josep LLUÍS CARRION-I-SILVESTRE & Cecilio TAMARIT, "undated". "External Imbalances in a Monetary Union. Does the Lawson Doctrine Apply to Europe?," EcoMod2010 259600036, EcoMod.
    3. Michele Cavallo & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Current account adjustment with high financial integration: a scenario analysis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 31-45.
    4. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
    5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 12909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ziesemer, Thomas, 2007. "Estimations of US debt dynamics: Growth cum debt and the savings glut in Kouri’s model," MERIT Working Papers 003, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2009. "Are valuation effects desirable from a global perspective?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 170-180, July.
    8. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2010. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 643-658, July.
    9. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The stability of large external imbalances: the role of returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 894, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and global imbalances," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 519-573, July.
    11. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2009. "Where did all the borrowing go? A forensic analysis of the U.S. external position," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-199, June.
    12. Bruno Bonizzi & Christina Laskaridis & Jan Toporowski, 2015. "Developing Countries’ External Debt and International Financial Integration," Working papers wpaper121, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    13. Devereux, Michael B. & Sutherland, Alan, 2010. "Valuation effects and the dynamics of net external assets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 129-143, January.
    14. Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2010. "An asset-pricing view of external adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 144-156, January.
    15. Durdu, C. Bora & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Terrones, Marco E., 2013. "On the solvency of nations: Cross-country evidence on the dynamics of external adjustment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 762-780.
    16. Marques, Luis B, 2007. "Welfare Implications of Exchange Rate Changes," MPRA Paper 5721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Konstantinou, Panagiotis Th., 2010. "Adjustment of US external imbalances: At what horizon?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 166-168, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International finance ; Foreign exchange ; Dollar; American;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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