Journal Article

The quest for sound money: currency boards to the rescue

Abstract: Some countries with high inflation have adopted another nations more stable currency: Panama uses the U.S. dollar, gaining price stability and easier trade with its primary partner. But this arrangement grants an interest-free loan to the government whose currency is used. And the nation using the currency forgoes any income on the foreign currency holdings. ; One alternative, a currency board, achieves the other countrys monetary stability without these costs. Currency boards issue a domestic currency in return for the foreign currency, at a fixed exchange rate. Boards also hold assets denominated in the foreign currency that are at least equal in value--at a fixed exchange rate--to the total domestic currency issued. Some have suggested that currency boards might \"rescue\" the monetary systems of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The author expresses a number of reservations. Above all, it is unclear how a currency board can arrest inflation without like-minded government policies: \"Dramatic results should not be expected from the inauguration of a currency board in the absence of other financial reforms.\"

Keywords: Money; Currency boards; Foreign exchange - Law and legislation;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Part of Series: New England Economic Review

Publication Date: 1992

Issue: Nov

Pages: 14-24