A quantitative framework is developed to bring forward the insurance motive of holding international reserves. The insurance value of reserves is quantified as the market price of an equivalent option that provides the same insurance coverage as the reserves. This quantitative framework is applied to calculating the cost of a regional insurance arrangement (e.g., an Asian Monetary Fund) and to analyzing one leg of an optimal reserve-holding decision.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper elaborates the introduction of surveillance that gave the IMF broader responsibilities with respect to oversight of its members’ policies than existed under the par value system. The IMF’s purview has been broadened under the new system but, by the same token, its members are no longer obliged to seek its concurrence in changes in exchange rates. The continuing volatility of exchange rates, and their prolonged divergence from levels that appear to be sustainable over time, have been matters of growing concern.