This paper discusses the underlying objectives of the exchange rate regime are necessarily related to broader objectives of the international financial system and the international economy. The exchange rate regime should help to promote a satisfactory working of the adjustment process. The exchange rate regime should help to promote, or at least support, the pursuit of economic and financial policies that contribute to countries’ domestic objectives, as regards both real economic variables and financial variables, notably including the degree of price stability. Attainment of the underlying objectives for the exchange rate regime suggests a number of instrumental or operational desiderata, which are listed below without regard to potential conflict between them and therefore without consideration of any trade-off among themselves. A system of adjustable parities and narrow margins should score well on the objective of exchange stability, provided that the adjustments are not too large or too frequent.
This paper outlines the payment agreements and trade agreements. Resident inconvertibility in relation to other inconvertible countries is largely organized on the basis of bilateral trade agreements establishing quotas for imports, exports, and invisibles, and of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) Code of Liberalization. Resident inconvertibility vis-a-vis convertible countries is implemented mainly by unilaterally imposed quantitative import and exchange restrictions that usually are subject to a high degree of administrative discretion. Under bilateral payments agreements, the partner countries undertake to affect their reciprocal current settlements in a way that will minimize the use of convertible exchange and gold. In a typical case, the two central banks open accounts in their respective currencies in each other’s names, but agreements may also provide for one (main) agreement account. Settlements in convertible currencies or gold have to be made only when one partner’s net debtor position in the designated accounts exceeds an amount established in the agreement as the limit up to which each partner is prepared to sell its currency for the other’s currency without demanding cover.