This paper deals with the role of inflationary expectations from a theoretical and empirical point of view. Assume that an economy is growing at a steady pace and that the price level is not expected to change. For many individuals, the direct substitution of consumption goods for money becomes far more attractive than the substitution of financial assets for money. The coefficients for the lagged dependent variable are somewhat higher when the equations contain the interest rate than when they do not. The influences on the demand for money in the United States have not been very different from those in other countries, including the developing countries. This conclusion vitiates the rule of thumb, attributed to Modigliani and supported by Dornbusch and Fischer in their macroeconomic textbook, on how to decide whether the nominal interest rate or the expected rate of inflation should be included as determining the demand for money.
This paper outlines the Asian currency market provides an intermediation function between several Asian countries and the Eurocurrency market. However, soon after its creation in 1968, the Asian market went beyond this function and has now developed a substantial regional network of financial transactions. The Asian currency market was developed when the economy of Singapore was going through an important period of transition that was caused by the independence of the island in the mid-1960s and by a rapid phasing out of large British military installations. In addition to an important effort of economic development at home, this period of transition has involved expanding financial and trade relations to countries other than the British Commonwealth and the immediate neighbors. Several factors contributed to the establishment of the Asian currency market in Singapore. In the 1960s, the rapid economic growth of a number of Asian countries, an increased flow of direct investment, and a greater participation of multinational corporations in the economy of Asia generated a growing pool of foreign currencies in the hands of the private sector.
In this paper, various policy instruments at the disposal of national governments for dealing with the problem of disruptive international capital flows or, more generally, the problem of temporary and reversible payments imbalances, are passed in review. The instruments examined include: separate (dual) exchange markets for capital and current transactions; taxes and subsidies affecting capital transactions or income from capital; official intervention in forward exchange markets; monetary or interest rate policies (including the fiscal-monetary mix); official financing or use of reserves; and floating unitary exchange rates and wider margins. Attention is focused on the device of dual exchange markets, which is evaluated in comparison with each of the other approaches from the standpoint of allocative effects, scope, enforceability, flexibility, and so on. Dual markets, if conducted on appropriate lines, are found to compare favourably overall with most of the other policies, except for floating unitary rates. The paper closes with a suggestion for a system of dual exchange markets with floating rates (subject to appropriate official intervention) on both markets.
From the Foreword to the first issue: “Among the responsibilities of the International Monetary Fund, as set forth in the Articles of Agreement, is the obligation to fact as a center for the collection and exchange of information on monetary and financial problems,’ and thereby to facilitate ‘the preparation of studies designed to assist members in developing policies which further the purposes of the Fund.’ The publications of the Fund are one way in which this responsibility is discharged. “Through the publication of Staff Papers, the Fund is making available some of the work of members of its staff. The Fund believes that these papers will be found helpful by government officials, by professional economists, and by others concerned with monetary and financial problems. Much of what is now presented is quite provisional. On some international monetary problems, final and definitive views are scarcely to be expected in the near future, and several alternative, or even conflicting, approaches may profitably be explored. The views presented in these papers are not, therefore, to be interpreted as necessarily indicating the position of the Executive Board or of the officials of the Fund.”
This paper describes the operations of the international monetary system and to evaluate its efficacy to meet existing and foreseeable problems. The attempt is made to put the essential characteristics of the entire monetary system in a realistic perspective and to lay a better basis for studying and evaluating problems importantly affected by the operations of the system. Thus, the present international payments system is a deliberate choice among the means of conducting international financial relations. It is not rigid, and it makes provision for both adapting to enduring changes and meeting sudden and grave financial crises. However, the system has two permanent features—the use of par values and the convertibility of currencies for current transactions; without these features, it would cease to exist. The measures taken will be dealt with in a subsequent article on the management of the convertibility system and the techniques available for its defense.
This paper describes the connection between the need for financial statistics as an aid to monetary and financial policy. The essential unifying element between statistics and policy is, of course, theory—a coherent set of assumptions regarding the behavior of the economy. These assumptions will indicate how the economy is expected to respond to changes of particular variables on which policy action concentrates. The accounts of the money and banking and financial system can provide a large part of the required financing statistics in a highly reliable form. In all economies a large part of borrowing and lending is indirect. Among the financial institutions, the banking system stands out, not merely because of its relative magnitude but because of its ability to create its own liabilities. Both banks and life insurance companies grant credit; that is not where the difference lies. A simple model of the economy can be built on the basis of injections of income that can be observed from available statistics.