Profitability of Reserve Bank Foreign Exchange Operations: Twenty Years After the Float
Since the float of the Australian dollar in December 1983, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has retained the discretion to intervene in the foreign exchange markets in order to avoid what it perceives to be large overshooting in the currency. In this paper we invoke the ‘profit test’ first advocated by Friedman to assess whether the RBA’s foreign exchange operations have had a stabilising influence on the exchange rate. We do this over the entire post-float period, as well as for each of the three distinct cycles in the exchange rate during that period. The premise underlying the profit test is that if the central bank has made a profit from intervention in its currency, it must have ‘bought low and sold high’, which would work towards stabilising the exchange rate. Since the float, the RBA has made a profit of A$5.2 billion on its intervention operations, with profits made in each of the three cycles. The paper concludes that the profitability of intervention suggests that the RBA’s operations have had a stabilising influence on the exchange rate.
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- Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001.
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CEPR Discussion Papers
2690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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- Jonathan Kearns & Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identifying the Efficacy of Central Bank Interventions: Evidence from Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Jeff M. Rogers & Pierre Siklos, 2001.
"Foreign Exchange Market Intervention in Two Small Open Economies: The Canadian and Australian Experience,"
Research Paper Series
57, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
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- Tiffany Hutcheson, 2003. "Exchange Rate Movements As Explained By Dealers," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(3), pages 35-46, 09.
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