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International Finance FINA 5331 Lecture 8: Crises continued Read: Chapters 2 Aaron Smallwood Ph.D.
Euro Area Austria Denmark Belgium Latvia Cyprus Lithuania Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Bulgaria Ireland Czech Republic Italy Hungary Luxembourg Poland Malta Romania Netherlands Portugal Sweden Slovenia UK Spain Slovakia EU
Policy Matters - Public Policymakers Many were skeptical about EMU. The European Union is not an ideal candidate for a currency union because within the union, labor is immobile, business cycles are weakly correlated, and fiscal transfers are limited. Others focused on the advantages and dynamic gains likely under EMU: lower transaction costs and exchange rate risk, and greater capital mobility and depth of financial markets across Europe
Policy Matters - Public Policymakers Some Specific Concerns about the EMU The lack of national exchange rate policy under EMU can be a source of tension if national growth rates are not sufficiently correlated. Ireland found it helpful to make a small adjustment to the Irish punt’s central rate in 1998. The euro can challenge the dominant role played by the U.S. dollar over the last 50 years. Liquidity in the US$ market may be affected.
Policy Matters - Public Policymakers The euro changes some basic aspects of international financial management. To obtain diversification benefits, the investor must turn to other markets.
More generally, the choice of an exchange rate system: Policy Matters - Private Enterprises The government’s choice of monetary system affects the decisions that firms face. There is greater exchange rate variability under floating. Nominal exchange rate variability raises the importance of the choice of currency of denomination for cash flows and financial assets increases the demand for financial instruments that can be used to hedge or offset currency risks.
Debt crisis • On April 27 ,2010, Greece sovereign debt is downgraded to “junk” status by Standard & Poors. Facing a strong probability of default, the EMU and IMF approve a €110 billion rescue package for Greece on May 2, 2010. • In May 2010, the European Financial Stability Facilty is formed. In conjunction with the IMF, up to €750 billion is available for countries potentially facing a crisis. • In Ireland, the Anglo-Irish Bank is effectively nationalized in December 2008. On November 21, 2010, Ireland reaches an agreement for a bailout. On March 30, 2011, Ireland announces that it will need an additional €24 billion from the IMF and EFSF to aid ailing banks. The total bailout for Ireland has reached €70 billion. • The Portuguese government released figures on March 30, 2011, indicating that the deficit had reached 8.6% of GDP. • On April 6, 2011, the Portuguese government asks the EMU for a bailout.
Major currency crises EMS crises of 1992-93. Following German re-unification contractionary monetary policy caused the currencies of German trading partners to become overvalued. Mexican peso crisis 1994-95. An overvalued exchange rate, policy mistakes, and political turmoil led to collapse of the peso, a severe recession and inflation before an IMF and US led bailout. Asian currency crisis (1997-98) Contagion Argentina (2001-02) Failure to use fiscal restraint and inflexibility in labor markets led to the collapse in this board system.
Overvalued/Undervalued? How would we know if a currency was overvalued or undervalued? Most economists use “real exchange rates”. According to the law of the one price:
Real Exchange Rate The real exchange rate is defined as: Take Mexico as an example: Suppose St is relatively stable but, PtMexincreases much more rapidly than PtUS. The result, Rt increases. The Mexican peso appreciates in real terms.
Real Exchange rate If a country’s real exchange rate rises, some combination of the following three are occurring: The nominal exchange rate is appreciating Domestic prices are rising rapidly Foreign prices are falling. ALL THREE LIKELY LEAD TO A DECLINE IN THE DEMAND FOR EXPORTS
The Asian currency crisis On July 2, 1997, Thai Baht is devalued. July 11 Philippines devalues the peso July 14: Malaysia floats the ringgit July 17: Singapore devalues August 14: Thailand moves to a float October 14: Taiwan devalues November 14: Korea floats August 17, 1998: Russia abandons its peg Hong Kong: At one point, Hong Kong monetary authority raises rates to 500%.
Asian currency preview: The causes Liberalization of capital markets in a weak domestic financial environment. Crony capitalism Surge in risky real estate investment Maturity mismatch Secondary cause: Over-valued real exchange rates.
Asian currency crisis Crony capitalism: A very close connection between government leaders and private enterprise, “lending decisions were often influenced by political considerations” (page 49, Eun and Resnick). Violation of the trillema Maturity mismatch: Given capital inflow, Asian economies become reliant on short term debt instruments. Aftermath: Average economic growth of Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand (source: Krugman and Obstfeld, 6th Edition): 1996: 7.0% 1997: 4.5% 1998: -8.1%