The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes whether and how central banks can use currency options to lower exchange rate volatility and maintain (implicit) target zones in foreign exchange markets. It argues that selling rather than buying options will result in market makers dynamically hedging their long option exposure in a stabilizing manner, consistent with the first objective. Selling a “strangle” allows a central bank to increase the credibility of its commitment to a target zone, and could have a lower expected cost than spot market interventions. However, this strategy also exposes the central bank to an unlimited loss potential.