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 addresses the important question of how far a government will run down its stock of foreign reserves in a defense of a fixed exchange rate. An optimizing model of currency crisis is presented in which the decision of whether or not to borrow in a defense of a peg is explicitly analyzed. The threshold level of reserves is then determined endogenously and shown to be a function of fundamental economic variables. The analysis also demonstrates how an increase in the level of reserves, a credit-rating upgrade, or the imposition of capital controls can remove the multiplicity of equilibria.