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An Assessment of Malaysian Monetary Policy During the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09

Author

Listed:
  • Selim Elekdag
  • Subir Lall
  • Harun Alp

Abstract

Malaysia was hit hard by the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Anticipating the downturn that would follow the episode of extreme financial turbulence, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) let the exchange rate depreciate as capital flowed out, and preemptively cut the policy rate by 150 basis points. Against this backdrop, this paper tries to quantify how much deeper the recession would have been without the BNM's monetary policy response. Taking the most intense year of the crisis as our baseline (2008:Q4-2009:Q3), counterfactual simulations indicate that rather the actual outcome of a -2.9 percent contraction, growth would have been -3.4 percent if the BNM had not implemented countercyclical and discretionary interest rate cuts. Furthermore, had a fixed exchange rate regime been in place, simulations indicate that output would have contracted by -5.5 percent over the same four-quarter period. In other words, exchange rate flexibility and the interest rate cuts implemented by the BNM helped substantially soften the impact of the global financial crisis on the Malaysian economy. These counterfactual experiments are based on a structural model estimated using Malaysian data.

Suggested Citation

  • Selim Elekdag & Subir Lall & Harun Alp, 2012. "An Assessment of Malaysian Monetary Policy During the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09," IMF Working Papers 12/35, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/35
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vasco Cúrdia, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Sudden Stops," International Finance 0510025, EconWPA, revised 19 Dec 2005.
    2. Subir Lall & Selim Elekdag & Harun Alp, 2012. "Did Korean Monetary Policy Help Soften the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009?," IMF Working Papers 12/5, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Javier García-Cicco, 2010. "Estimating Models for Monetary Policy Analysis in Emerging Countries," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 561, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the empirics of Sudden Stops: the relevance of balance-sheet effects," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    5. Elekdag, Selim & Tchakarov, Ivan, 2007. "Balance sheets, exchange rate policy, and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3986-4015, December.
    6. Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2010. "Financial Factors in Economic Fluctuations," 2010 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Pierre Allegret, 2012. "Responses of Monetary Authorities in Emerging Economies to International Financial Crises: What Do We Really know?," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 3-32.

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