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Jel Classification:F30 

Working Paper
The pricing of FX forward contracts: micro evidence from banks’ dollar hedging
We use transaction-level data on foreign exchange (FX) forward contracts for the period 2014 through 2016 in conjunction with supervisory balance sheet information to study the drivers of banks? dollar hedging costs. Comparing contracts of the same maturity that are initiated during the same hour of the same day, we find large heterogeneity in banks? hedging costs. We show that these costs (i) are higher for banks with a larger FX funding gap, (ii) depend on banks? FX funding composition in terms of the source (interbank versus retail) and rollover structure (long-term versus short-term), (iii) are lower for banks with deeper internal dollar capital markets, and (iv) increase with banks? shadow cost of capital. Our results are important for understanding how shocks are transmitted internationally through the FX hedging market.
AUTHORS: Abbassi, Puriya; Bräuning, Falk
DATE: 2018-03-01

Working Paper
International financial integration, crises, and monetary policy: evidence from the euro area interbank crises
We analyze how financial crises affect international financial integration, exploiting euro area proprietary interbank data, crisis and monetary policy shocks, and variation in loan terms to the same borrower on the same day by domestic versus foreign lenders. Crisis shocks reduce the supply of crossborder liquidity, with stronger volume effects than pricing effects, thereby impairing international financial integration. On the extensive margin, there is flight to home ? but this is independent of quality. On the intensive margin, however, GIPS-headquartered debtor banks suffer in the Lehman crisis, but effects are stronger in the sovereign-debt crisis, especially for riskier banks. Nonstandard monetary policy improves interbank liquidity, but without fostering strong cross-border financial reintegration.
AUTHORS: Bräuning, Falk; Fecht, Falko; Abbassi, Puriya; Peydro, Jose Luis
DATE: 2017-07-01

Working Paper
The international monetary and financial system: a capital account perspective
In analysing the performance of the international monetary and financial system (IMFS), too much attention has been paid to the current account and far too little to the capital account. This is true of both formal analytical models and historical narratives. This approach may be reasonable when financial markets are highly segmented. But it is badly inadequate when they are closely integrated, as they have been most of the time since at least the second half of the 19th century. Zeroing on the capital account shifts the focus from the goods markets to asset markets and balance sheets. Seen through this lens, the IMFS looks quite different. Its main weakness is its propensity to amplify financial surges and collapses that generate costly financial crises ? its ?excess financial elasticity?. And assessing the vulnerabilities it hides requires going beyond the residence/non-resident distinction that underpins the balance of payments to look at the consolidated balance sheets of the decision units that straddle national borders, be these banks or non-financial companies. We illustrate these points by revisiting two defining historical phases in which financial meltdowns figured prominently, the interwar years and the more recent Great Financial Crisis.
AUTHORS: Shin, Hyun Song; James, Harold; Borio, Claudio
DATE: 2014-10-01

Working Paper
What drives the German current account? and how does it affect other EU member states?
We estimate a three-country model using 1995-2013 data for Germany, the Rest of the Euro Area (REA) and the Rest of the World (ROW) to analyze the determinants of Germany?s current account surplus after the launch of the Euro. The most important factors driving the German surplus were positive shocks to the German saving rate and to ROW demand for German exports, as well as German labour market reforms and other positive German aggregate supply shocks. The convergence of REA interest rates to German rates due to the creation of the Euro only had a modest effect on the German current account and on German real activity. The key shocks that drove the rise in the German current account tended to worsen the REA trade balance, but had a weak effect on REA real activity. Our analysis suggests these driving factors are likely to be slowly eroded, leading to a very gradual reduction of the German current account surplus. An expansion in German government consumption and investment would raise German GDP and reduce the current account surplus, but the effects on the surplus are likely to be weak.
AUTHORS: Roeger, Werner; in Veld, Jan; Kollmann, Robert; Ratto, Marco; Vogel, Lukas
DATE: 2014-05-13

Working Paper
Stability or upheaval? The currency composition of international reserves in the long run
We analyze how the role of different national currencies as international reserves was affected by the shift from fixed to flexible exchange rates. We extend data on the currency composition of foreign reserves backward and forward to investigate whether there was a shift in the determinants of the currency composition of international reserves around the breakdown of Bretton Woods. We find that inertia and policy-credibility effects in international reserve currency choice have become stronger post-Bretton Woods, while network effects appear to have weakened. We show that negative policy interventions designed to discourage international use of a currency have been more effective than positive interventions to encourage its use. These findings speak to the prospects of currencies like the euro and the renminbi seeking to acquire international reserve status and others like the U.S. dollar seeking to preserve it.
AUTHORS: Eichengreen, Barry; Livia, Chitu; Mehl, Arnaud
DATE: 2014-10-01

Working Paper
The international monetary and financial system: its Achilles heel and what to do about it
This essay argues that the Achilles heel of the international monetary and financial system is that it amplifies the ?excess financial elasticity? of domestic policy regimes, ie it exacerbates their inability to prevent the build-up of financial imbalances, or outsize financial cycles, that lead to serious financial crises and macroeconomic dislocations. This excess financial elasticity view contrasts sharply with two more popular ones, which stress the failure of the system to prevent disruptive current account imbalances and its tendency to generate a structural shortage of safe assets ? the ?excess saving? and ?excess demand for safe assets? views, respectively. In particular, the excess financial elasticity view highlights financial rather than current account imbalances and a persistent expansionary rather than contractionary bias in the system. The failure to adjust domestic policy regimes and their international interaction raises a number of risks: entrenching instability in the global system; returning to the modern-day equivalent of the divisive competitive devaluations of the interwar years; and, ultimately, triggering an epoch-defining seismic rupture in policy regimes, back to an era of trade and financial protectionism and, possibly, stagnation combined with inflation.
AUTHORS: Borio, Claudio
DATE: 2014-10-01

Working Paper
Hedging against the government: a solution to the home asset bias puzzle
This paper explains two puzzling facts: international nominal bonds and equity portfolios are biased domestically. In our two-country model, holding domestic government nominal debt provides a hedge against shocks to bond returns and the impact on taxes they induce. For this result, only two features are essential: some nominal risk and taxes falling only on domestic agents. A third feature explains why agents choose to hold primarily domestic equity: government spending falls on domestic goods. Then, an increase in government spending raises the returns on domestic equity, providing a hedge against the subsequent increase in taxes. These conclusions are robust to a wide range of preference parameter values and the incompleteness of financial markets. A calibrated version of the model predicts asset holdings that quantitatively match the data.
AUTHORS: Berriel, Tiago C.; Bhattarai, Saroj
DATE: 2012

Working Paper
Economic fundamentals and monetary policy autonomy
During a time of rising world interest rates, the central bank of a small open economy may be motivated to increase its own interest rate to keep from suffering a destabilizing outflow of capital and depreciation in the exchange rate. This is especially true for a small open economy with a current account deficit, which relies on foreign capital inflows to finance this deficit. This paper will investigate the underlying structural characteristics that would lead an economy with a floating exchange rate to adjust their interest rate in line with the foreign interest rate, and thus adopt a de facto exchange rate ?peg?. Using a panel data regression similar to that in Shambaugh (QJE 2004) and most recently in Klein and Shambaugh (AEJ Macro 2015), this paper shows that the method of current account financing has a large effect on whether or not the central bank will opt for exchange rate and capital flow stabilization during a time of rising world interest rates. A current account deficit financed mainly through reserve depletion or the accumulation of private sector debt will cause the central bank to pursue de facto exchange rate stabilization, whereas a current account deficit financed through equity or FDI will not. Quantitatively, reserve depletion of about 7% of GDP will motivate the central bank with a floating currency to adjust its interest rate in line with the foreign interest rate to where it appears that the central bank has an exchange rate peg.
AUTHORS: Davis, Scott
DATE: 2016-02-24

Working Paper
Vehicle currency
While in principle, international payments could be carried out using any currency or set of currencies, in practice, the U.S. dollar is predominant in international trade and financial flows. The dollar acts as a "vehicle currency" in the sense that agents in nondollar economies will generally engage in currency trade indirectly using the U.S. dollar rather than using direct bilateral trade among their own currencies. Indirect trade is desirable when there are transactions costs of exchange.> ; This paper constructs a dynamic general equilibrium model of a vehicle currency. We explore the nature of the efficiency gains arising from a vehicle currency, and show how this depends on the total number of currencies in existence, the size of the vehicle currency economy, and the monetary policy followed by the vehicle currency's government. We find that there can be very large welfare gains to a vehicle currency in a system of many independent currencies. But these gains are asymmetry weighted towards the residents of the vehicle currency country. The survival of a vehicle currency places natural limits on the monetary policy of the vehicle country.
AUTHORS: Devereux, Michael B.; Shi, Shouyong
DATE: 2008

Working Paper
Global, local, and contagious investor sentiment
We construct indexes of investor sentiment for six major stock markets and decompose them into one global and six local indexes. Relative market sentiment is correlated with the relative prices of dual-listed companies, validating the indexes. Both global and local sentiment are contrarian predictors of the time series of major markets' returns. They are also contrarian predictors of the time series of cross-sectional returns within major markets: When sentiment from either global or local sources is high, future returns are low on various categories of difficult to arbitrage and difficult to value stocks. Sentiment appears to be contagious across markets based on tests involving capital flows, and this presumably contributes to the global component of sentiment.
AUTHORS: Baker, Malcolm; Yuan, Yu; Wurgler, Jeffrey
DATE: 2009

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