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The Role of Foreign Currency Debt in Financial Crises: 1880-1913 vs. 1972-1997

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher M Meissner

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Michael D Bordo

    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

We show that exposure to foreign currency debt does not necessarily increase the risk of having a financial crisis. Some countries do not suffer from financial fragility despite original sin. Before 1913 British offshoots and Scandinavia afflicted with it avoided financial meltdowns. Today many advanced countries have original sin but few have had crises. In both periods, aggregate balance sheet mismatches are associated with a greater likelihood of a crisis. The evidence suggests that foreign currency debt is dangerous when mis-managed. This is part of the difference between developed countries and emerging markets both of which borrow in foreign currency.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher M Meissner & Michael D Bordo, 2006. "The Role of Foreign Currency Debt in Financial Crises: 1880-1913 vs. 1972-1997," WEF Working Papers 0001, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Handle: RePEc:wef:wpaper:0001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Bordo & John S. Landon-Lane, 2010. "The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08: Is it Unprecedented?," NBER Working Papers 16589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Karatas, B., 2014. "Financial crisis and monetary policy," Other publications TiSEM 41e463f0-e122-4379-8db5-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Jeanneret, Alexandre & Souissi, Slim, 2016. "Sovereign defaults by currency denomination," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 197-222.
    4. Marcel Fratzscher & Arnaud Mehl & Isabel Vansteenkiste, 2011. "130 Years of Fiscal Vulnerabilities and Currency Crashes in Advanced Economies," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 683-716, November.
    5. Carlo Galli & Marco Bassetto, 2016. "Is Inflation Default? The Role of Information in Debt Crises," 2016 Meeting Papers 308, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Michael D Bordo & Christopher M Meissner & Marc D Weidenmier, 2006. "Currency Mismatches, Default Risk, and Exchange Rate Depreciation: Evidence from the End of Bimetallism," WEF Working Papers 0010, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
    7. Sophia Lazaretou, 2011. "Financial crises and financial market regulation: the long record of an ‘emerger’," Working Papers 140, Bank of Greece.
    8. Carrera, Claudia Martínez & Vergara, Rodrigo, 2012. "Fiscal Sustainability: The Impact of Real Exchange Rate Shocks on Debt Valuation, Interest Rates and GDP Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1762-1783.
    9. Davide Furceri & Aleksandra Zdzienicka, 2012. "The Consequences of Banking Crises for Public Debt," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 289-307, December.
    10. Nahed Zghidi & Zouheir Abida, 2014. "Financial Development, Trade Openness and Economic Growth in North African Countries," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 17(53), pages 91-120, September.
    11. Chiţu, Livia, 2012. "Was unofficial dollarisation/euroisation an amplifier of the 'Great Recession' of 2007-09 in emerging economies," Working Paper Series 1473, European Central Bank.
    12. Bordo, Michael & Hargreaves, David & Kida, Mizuho, 2011. "Global shocks, economic growth and financial crises: 120 years of New Zealand experience," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 331-355, December.
    13. Bordo, Michael D. & Meissner, Christopher M. & Stuckler, David, 2010. "Foreign currency debt, financial crises and economic growth: A long-run view," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 642-665, June.
    14. repec:eee:macchp:v2-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. della Paolera, Gerardo & Taylor, Alan M., 2013. "Sovereign debt in Latin America, 1820-1913," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(02), pages 173-217, September.
    16. Livia Chitu, 2013. "Was Unofficial Dollarisation/Euroisation an Amplifier of the ‘Great Recession’ of 2007–2009 in Emerging Economies?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 55(2), pages 233-265, June.
    17. Abida Zouheir & Imen Mohamed Sghaier, 2014. "Remittances, Financial Development and Economic Growth: The Case of North African Countries," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 17(51), pages 137-170, March.
    18. Charles Amo Yartey, 2012. "Barbados; Sectoral Balance Sheet Mismatches and Macroeconomic Vulnerabilities," IMF Working Papers 12/31, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2013. "Banking crises: An equal opportunity menace," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4557-4573.
    20. Anna Ilyina & Anastasia Guscina & Herman Kamil, 2010. "Does Procyclical Fiscal Policy Reinforce Incentives to Dollarize Sovereign Debt?," IMF Working Papers 10/168, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner, 2016. "Fiscal and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 22059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Karatas, Bilge, 2013. "Three Sisters: The Interlinkage between Sovereign Debt, Currency and Banking Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 9369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. repec:eee:ecmode:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:18-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Zouheir Abida & Imen Mohamed Sghaier & Nahed Zghidi, 2015. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Evidence from North African Countries," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 2, pages 17-33, April.
    25. Marcelin, Isaac & Mathur, Ike, 2016. "Financial sector development and dollarization in emerging economies," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 20-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Original Sin; currency mismatch; crisis; debt intolerance; balance sheets;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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