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Profitability of Reserve Bank Foreign Exchange Operations: Twenty Years After the Float

Author

Listed:
  • Chris Becker

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Michael Sinclair

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Becker & Michael Sinclair, 2004. "Profitability of Reserve Bank Foreign Exchange Operations: Twenty Years After the Float," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2004-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2004-06
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    File URL: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2004/pdf/rdp2004-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rogers, J. M. & Siklos, P. L., 2003. "Foreign exchange market intervention in two small open economies: the Canadian and Australian experience," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 393-416, June.
    2. Mark P. Taylor & Lucio Sarno, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective and, If So, How Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 839-868, September.
    3. Kim, Suk-Joong & Sheen, Jeffrey, 2002. "The determinants of foreign exchange intervention by central banks: evidence from Australia," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 619-649, October.
    4. repec:syd:wpaper:9905 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:syd:wpaper:99-05 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michael McKenzie, 2004. "An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Central Bank Intervention and Exchange Rate Volatility: Some Australian Evidence," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 59-74, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Tiffany Hutcheson, 2003. "Exchange Rate Movements As Explained By Dealers," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(3), pages 35-46, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Buncic & Martin Melecky, 2008. "An Estimated New Keynesian Policy Model for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(264), pages 1-16, March.
    2. Neely, Christopher J., 2008. "Central bank authorities' beliefs about foreign exchange intervention," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Augusto de la Torre & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Samuel Pienknagura, "undated". "Latin America’s Deceleration and the Exchange Rate Buffer : LAC Semiannual Report, October 2013," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16107, The World Bank.
    4. Kim, Suk-Joong, 2007. "Intraday evidence of efficacy of 1991-2004 Yen intervention by the Bank of Japan," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 341-360, October.
    5. Simatele, Munacinga & Sjö, Bo & Sweeny, Richard, 2016. "Do Developing Countries Lose Money on Central Bank Intervention? The Case of Zambia in Copper-Market Boom and Bust," LiU Working Papers in Economics 2, Linköping University, Division of Economics, Department of Management and Engineering.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intervention; profit test; foreign exchange rate; overshooting;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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