Capital flows, macroeconomic management, and the financial system - Turkey, 1989-97
Recent developments in a number of emerging economies have heightened interest in the relationship between macroeconomic management and financial regulation, in an environment of open capital accounts and large-scale movements of private capital. The authors analyze the Turkish experience with capital flows in a macro-economy characterized by chronically high inflation and fiscal deficits. They study the relationship between capital flows, macroeconomic management, and vulnerability in the financial system. Their analysis highlights the importance of fiscal policy in an era of large capital flows. Fiscal imbalances contributed both to real exchange rate appreciation and high real interest rates in Turkey. The high interest rates the government must pay on domestic debt have become one of the key issues of Turkey's macroeconomic management. Only by reducing its interest expenses can fiscal deficits be reduced and greater stability be achieved. The Turkishbanking system, in becoming increasingly integrated with international financial markets, has become vulnerable to shifts in market confidence. Banks borrowed abroad in response to macroeconomic imbalances to benefit from high interest rates on domestic loans and government paper. In the process, the banks have exposed themselves to interest rate risk, to foreign-exchange risk, and to large credit risks. To reduce the Turkish economy's vulnerability to external shocks, financial regulation must be strengthened simultaneously with the achievement of macroeconomic stability.
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