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Risk-On/Risk-Off, Capital Flows, Leverage, and Safe Assets

  • McCauley, Robert N.

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

This paper describes the international flow of funds associated with calm and volatile global equity markets. During calm periods, portfolio investment by real money and leveraged investors in advanced countries flows into emerging markets, leading to an asymmetric asset swap (risky emerging market assets against safe reserve currency assets) and leveraging up by emerging market central banks. In declining and volatile global equity markets, these flows reverse, and, contrary to some claims, emerging market central banks draw down reserves substantially. In effect emerging market central banks then release safe assets from their reserves, supplying safe havens to global investors.

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 405.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0405
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  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2012. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From ‘fear of floating’ to the ‘fear of losing international reserves’?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 250-269.
  2. Robert N. McCauley, 2013. "Renminbi internationalisation and China’s financial development," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 101-115, May.
  3. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2006. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 12560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert N McCauley & Catherine R Schenk, 2014. "Reforming the international monetary system in the 1970s and 2000s: would an SDR substitution account have worked?," BIS Working Papers 444, Bank for International Settlements.
  5. Jacob Gyntelberg & Andreas Schrimpf, 2011. "FX strategies in periods of distress," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  6. Patrick McGuire & Goetz von Peter, 2008. "International banking activity amidst the turmoil," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, June.
  7. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael, 2010. "Exchange Market Pressure and Absorption by International Reserves: Emerging Markets and Fear of Reserve Loss During the 2008-09 Crisis," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8g25f4qs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  8. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E. & Hashimoto, Yuko & Ito, Takatoshi, 2012. "International reserves and the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 388-406.
  9. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E., 2012. "Foreign reserve management during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2017-2037.
  10. Robert N McCauley & Patrick McGuire, 2009. "Dollar appreciation in 2008: safe haven, carry trades, dollar shortage and overhedging," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  11. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat, 2011. "Global imbalances and the financial crisis: Link or no link?," BIS Working Papers 346, Bank for International Settlements.
  12. Andrew Filardo & James Yetman, 2012. "The expansion of central bank balance sheets in emerging Asia: what are the risks?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, June.
  13. Jacob Gyntelberg & Mico Loretan & Tientip Subhanij & Eric Chan, 2009. "International portfolio rebalancing and exchange rate fluctuations in Thailand," BIS Working Papers 287, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Petra Gerlach & Robert N McCauley & Kazuo Ueda, 2011. "Currency intervention and the global portfolio balance effect: Japanese and Swiss lessons, 2003-2004 and 2009-2010," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-830, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  15. Gerlach, Petra & McCauley, Robert N. & Ueda, Kazuo, 2012. "Currency intervention and the global portfolio balance effect: Japanese lessons," Papers WP442, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  16. Claudio Borio & Robert McCauley & Patrick McGuire, 2011. "Global credit and domestic credit booms," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
  17. Robert N McCauley & Jean-François Rigaudy, 2011. "Managing foreign exchange reserves in the crisis and after," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Portfolio and risk management for central banks and sovereign wealth funds, volume 58, pages 19-47 Bank for International Settlements.
  18. Richards, Anthony, 2005. "Big Fish in Small Ponds: The Trading Behavior and Price Impact of Foreign Investors in Asian Emerging Equity Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(01), pages 1-27, March.
  19. Stefan Avdjiev & Robert McCauley & Patrick McGuire, 2012. "Rapid credit growth and international credit: Challenges for Asia," BIS Working Papers 377, Bank for International Settlements.
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