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 evaluates monetary policy and its relationship with the exchange rate in five Asian crisis countries. The findings are compared with previous currency crises in recent history. The paper finds no evidence of overly tight monetary policy in the Asian crisis countries in 1997 and early 1998, nor evidence that high interest rates led to weaker exchange rates. The usual trade-off between inflation and output when raising interest rates suggested the need for a softer monetary policy in the crisis countries to combat recession. However, in some countries, corporate balance sheet considerations called for the reversal of overly depreciated currencies through firmer monetary policy.