nep-ifn New Economics Papers
on International Finance
Issue of 2011‒02‒19
eight papers chosen by
Ajay Shah
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  1. Evidence on financial globalization and crisis: capital raisings By Galina Hale
  2. Currency Wars? By William R. Cline; John Williamson
  3. Bigger Fish in Small Pond : The Interaction between Foreigners' Trading and Emerging Stock Market Returns under the Microscope By Numan Ülkü; Enzo Weber
  4. Dealing with Volatile Capital Flows By Olivier Jeanne
  6. Does the euro make a difference? Spatio-temporal transmission of global shocks to real effective exchange rates in an infinite VAR By Matthieu Bussière; Alexander Chudik; Arnaud Mehl
  7. Making sense of China’s excessive foreign reserves By Yi Wen

  1. By: Galina Hale
    Abstract: Financial globalization opened international capital markets to investors and firms all over the world. Foreign capital raisings by firms have increased substantially since the early 1990s in terms of equity as well as debt. I review the literature on the determinants and patterns of cross-border capital raisings and their effects on developments of domestic markets, highlighting the differences between mature and emerging economies. I focus on the effects the introduction of the euro had on European and global capital markets by bringing into existence a currency area comparable in size to that of the United States. Finally, I discuss the effects of financial crises on foreign capital raisings and review capital raisings during the 2007-09 global financial crisis.
    Keywords: Globalization ; Capital market
    Date: 2011
  2. By: William R. Cline (Peterson Institute for International Economics); John Williamson (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: More than a dozen countries, including Brazil, China, India, Japan, and Korea, have been intervening in the foreign exchange market to prevent their currencies from appreciating. There are fears that the second dose of quantitative easing in the United States (dubbed QE2) may worsen currency appreciation. These developments raise the prospect of a currency war, which the Group of Twenty (G-20) fears is gathering steam. Because many countries are simultaneously seeking to improve their balance of payments position, many are seeking a more competitive exchange rate. The laws of mathematics mean that some must be disappointed: A weaker exchange rate of one country implies a stronger rate of some other country or countries. Cline and Williamson argue that any agreement reached at the G-20 summit in Seoul to prevent an exchange rate war should be based on a distinction between countries with overvalued and undervalued currencies. Any accord should be designed to seek appreciation of the latter but not to debar the former from taking actions to prevent their currencies from becoming even more overvalued. Countries that are already overvalued on an effective basis--primarily floating emerging-market economies, but also Australia and New Zealand--should not be condemned for resisting further appreciation. But if a currency is substantially undervalued and the country is aggressively engaging in intervention to prevent appreciation, it is reasonable to judge that its intervention is unjustifiable. The authors show that a handful of high-surplus economies are intervening in such a fashion: China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Taiwan. The currencies of these economies are substantially undervalued, and their current account surpluses are correspondingly excessive, pointing clearly to the desirability of currency revaluation by these countries. It would be very wrong for the G-20 to condemn all countries that are trying to prevent their exchange rates from appreciating. One needs to ask which currencies are undervalued and concentrate on preventing them from intervening and tightening capital controls.
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: Numan Ülkü (Central European University Business School); Enzo Weber (University of Regensburg, Osteuropa-Institut, Regensburg (Institut for East European Studies))
    Abstract: This paper provides the first study of foreign investors’ trading in a sizeable European emerging stock market, using a combination of daily and monthly complete data col-lected at the destination. It also introduces the structural conditional correlation (SCC) methodology to identify the contemporaneous interaction between foreign flows and returns. We show that global emerging market returns are an additional driver of foreign flows after controlling for global developed market returns. Foreigners do negative (positive)-feedback-trade with respect to local returns at the monthly (daily) frequency. SCC methodology shows that the standard assumption in the literature, that flows cause returns contemporaneously but not vice versa, is not justified, even at the daily fre-quency, making price impact estimates reported in previous literature questionable
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Olivier Jeanne (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: The tools and mechanisms with which emerging-market countries insure themselves against volatile capital flows are in a state of flux. Most emerging-market countries had accumulated an unprecedented level of international reserves before the 2008 global financial crisis. The crisis itself led to a large increase in International Monetary Fund (IMF) resources and the introduction of a new lending facility, the Flexible Credit Line. Meanwhile, some progress was made toward transforming the Chiang Mai Initiative into an Asian Monetary Fund, and the Greek debt crisis even prompted calls for the creation of a European Monetary Fund. How have emerging-market countries dealt with capital flow volatility in the current crisis? What is the appropriate level of reserves for emerging-market countries? How can international crisis-lending and liquidity-provision arrangements be improved? What role can financial regulation and capital controls play in dealing with volatile capital flows? Olivier Jeanne discusses these and other important questions that are useful to keep in mind when thinking about the reform of international liquidity provision for emerging-market countries to deal with volatile capital flows. Jeanne concludes that the IMF and the international community should make more efforts to establish normative rules for the appropriate level of prudential reserves in emerging-market and developing countries and actively develop with its members a code of good practice for prudential capital controls.
    Date: 2010–07
  5. By: Pippenger, John
    Abstract: A complete solution to the forward-bias puzzle should provide an econometric solution and an economic explanation for that solution. A complete solution should also explain the closely related failure of uncovered interest parity. In addition it should explain some related anomalies. One such anomaly is that variances for changes in exchange rates are over 100 times larger than variances for interest rate differentials and forward premiums. My econometric solution is that the relevant test equations omit two variables that covered interest parity implies should be included. For my data, the missing variables explain the failure of uncovered interest parity and the forward-bias puzzle. The missing variables also explain why the variance for changes in exchange rates is over 100 times larger than the variance for both interest rate differentials and forward premiums. My economic explanation is that, in general, forward rates do not equal expected future spot rates.
    Keywords: exchange rates; forward bias; covered interest parity; uncovered interest parity; arbitrage
    Date: 2011–01–24
  6. By: Matthieu Bussière (Banque de France, 31 rue Croix des petits champs – 75001 Paris, France.); Alexander Chudik (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Arnaud Mehl (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on whether the creation of the euro has changed the way global turbulences affect euro area and other economies. Specifically, it considers the impact of global shocks on the competitiveness of individual euro area countries and assesses whether their responses to such shocks have converged, as well as to what pattern. Technically, the paper applies a newly developed methodology based on infinite VAR theory featuring a dominant unit to a large set of over 60 countries' real effective exchange rates, including those of the individual euro area economies, and compares impulse response functions to the estimated systems before and after EMU with respect to three types of shocks: a global US dollar shock, generalised impulse response function shocks and a global shock to risk aversion. Our results show that the way euro area countries' real effective exchange rates adjust to these shocks has converged indeed, albeit to a pattern that depends crucially on the nature of the shock. This result is noteworthy given the apparent divergence in competitiveness indicators of these countries in the first ten years of EMU, which suggests that this diverging pattern is unlikely to be due to global external shocks with asymmetric effects but rather to other factors, such as country-specific domestic shocks. JEL Classification: C21, C23.
    Keywords: Euro, Real Effective Exchange Rates, Weak and Strong Cross Sectional Dependence, High-Dimensional VAR, Identification of Shocks.
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: Yi Wen
    Abstract: Large uninsured risk, severe borrowing constraints, and rapid income growth can create excessively high household saving rates and large current account surpluses for emerging economies. Therefore, the massive foreign-reserve buildups by China are not necessarily the intended outcome of any government policies or an undervalued home currency, but instead a natural consequence of the country’s rapid economic growth in conjunction with an inefficient financial system (or lack of timely financial reform). A tractable growth model of precautionary saving is provided to quantitatively explain China’s extraordinary path of trade surplus and foreign-reserve accumulation in recent decades. Ironically, the analysis suggests that without a well-developed domestic financial market, the value of the renminbi (RMB) may significantly depreciate, instead of appreciate, once the Chinese government abandons the linked exchange rate and the massive amount of precautionary savings of Chinese households are unleashed toward international financial markets to search for better returns.
    Keywords: International trade ; Balance of trade - China ; International finance
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Partha Sen (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)
    Abstract: The use of monetary policy in India has been constrained by a loose fiscal policy and capital flows. Capital inflows have the potential to cause a Dutch Disease-type situation. The RBI has carried out sterilized intervention to prevent this. In spite of this, the trade balance and, more often than not, the current account continue to be in deficit. Thus the real exchange rate, in spite of the intervention, is inconsistent with external balance (defined as a manageable current account deficit). The problem of capital flows is a self-inflicted pain. The authorities could have kept a lid on capital flows, allowing only the most urgent inflows from a growth standpoint. It would have had a competitive edge in manufacturing. This would have allowed it to expand labor-intensive industry and help mitigate the massive poverty levels.
    Date: 2010–12

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