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  • Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy x
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Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Michael Mussa, Mr. Alexander K. Swoboda, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

This paper examines the consequences of heightened capital mobility and of the integration of developing economies in increasingly globalized markets for the exchange rate regimes of the industrial, developing, and transition economies. It builds upon previous studies by IMF staff on various aspects of the exchange rate arrangements of member countries, consistent with the IMF's role of surveillance over its members exchange rate policies.

Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Michael Mussa, Mr. Alexander K. Swoboda, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

The exchange rate regimes in today’s international monetary and financial system, and the system itself, are profoundly different in conception and functioning from those envisaged at the 1944 meeting of Bretton Woods establishing the IMF and the World Bank. The conceptual foundation of that system was of fixed but adjustable exchange rates to avoid the undue volatility thought to characterize floating exchange rates and to prevent competitive depreciations, while permitting enough flexibility to adjust to fundamental disequilibrium under international supervision. Capital flows were expected to play only a limited role in financing payments imbalances and widespread use of controls would insulate the real economy from instability arising from short-term capital flows. Temporary official financing of payments imbalances, mainly through the IMF, would smooth the adjustment process and avoid undue disturbances to current accounts, trade flows, output, and employment.

Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Michael Mussa, Mr. Alexander K. Swoboda, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

Since the creation of the IMF at Bretton Woods, the international exchange rate regime has undergone very substantial changes, which may be broken down into four main phases. The first was a phase of reconstruction and gradual reduction in inconvertibility of current account transactions under the aegis of the Marshall Plan and the European Payments Union, culminating in the return to current account convertibility by most industrial countries in 1958. The second phase corresponds to the heyday of the Bretton Woods system and was characterized by fixed, though adjustable, exchange rates, the partial removal of restrictions on capital account transactions in the industrial countries, a gold-dollar standard centered on the United States and its currency, and a periphery of developing country currencies that remained largely inconvertible. The end of convertibility of the dollar into gold in the summer of 1971 was a first step toward the breakdown of this system, which collapsed with the floating of major currencies in early 1973, This marked the beginning of the third phase.

Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Michael Mussa, Mr. Alexander K. Swoboda, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

The developing and transition countries whose exchange arrangements are the subject of this section cover a very broad range of economic development—from the very poorest to the newly industrialized economies with per capita incomes at levels that categorize them, along with industrial countries, as “advanced economies.” Correlated with the level of economic development, but not perfectly so, are both the degree of domestic financial sophistication and the extent of involvement with the global economic system, especially modern, global financial markets. The 30 or so countries that are most advanced in this last regard are commonly referred to as the “emerging markets.”

International Monetary Fund

This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that Malaysia has been hit hard by the global downturn. The economy is set to contract for the first time in 10 years. Global turbulence has spilled into the domestic financial markets. Executive Directors have commended the Malaysian authorities for sound macroeconomic management in difficult circumstances. Directors have also emphasized that, although the financial sector appears sound and benefited from the growth of Islamic finance, volatile global markets put a premium on crisis preparedness and proactive supervision.

Ms. Inci Ötker and Mr. R. B. Johnston
This paper outlines a “modern” approach to managing risks in cross-border capital movements that is consistent with an environment of increased and liberalized capital flows. Key elements of this approach include: a consistent monetary and exchange rate policy mix to avoid incentives for volatile capital flows; prudential management of the specific risks in capital flows; supporting financial sector reforms; and appropriate sequencing of liberalization. The approach can reduce the potential size of the shocks associated with capital movements and increase the resilience of the financial system to such shocks when they occur; overtime, it is expected to reduce the need for recourse to capital controls.
Mr. Leonardo Hernández and Mr. Peter J Montiel
Following the 1997-98 financial turmoil, crisis countries in Asia moved toward either floating or fixed exchange rate systems, reinforcing the bipolar view of exchange rate regimes and the "hollow middle" hypothesis. But some academics have claimed that the crisis countries' policies have been similar in the post- and pre-crisis periods. This paper analyzes the evidence and concludes that, except for Malaysia, which adopted a hard peg and imposed capital controls, the other crisis countries are floating more than before, though less than "real" floaters do. Further, the crisis countries' policies during the post-crisis period can be justified on second-best arguments.
Mr. Vladimir Klyuev and To-Nhu Dao
This paper examines exchange rate behavior in the ASEAN-5 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand). It finds that for the last 10 years there is no evidence that their central banks target particular exchange rate levels against any currency or basket. Thus, contrary to some assertions, they do not belong to a U.S. dollar club, a Japanese yen club, a Chinese renminbi club, or an ASEAN club. At the same time, they clearly try to smooth short-term volatility, particularly vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar. The degree of smoothing declined noticeably after the Asian Financial Crisis and less obviously after the Global Financial Crisis, with heterogeneity across countries. Short-term smoothing without level targeting does not interfere with monetary policies aimed at price stability.
Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Michael Mussa, Mr. Alexander K. Swoboda, Mr. Esteban Jadresic, and Mr. Paul R Masson

Abstract

One main theme of this paper has been that, in the current global economic context, no single exchange rate regime may be prescribed for all countries. However, it is crucial that the chosen exchange rate regime be credibly supported by a set of policies, in particular monetary and fiscal policy, that is fully consistent with the logic of that regime. The particular circumstances of the country and of the times will in turn dictate which policies and regimes are feasible and appropriate. With rising capital mobility and integration into world asset and goods markets, however, an increasing number of countries are moving, and are likely to continue to move, toward the ends of the spectrum that extends from purely floating exchange rates to very hard pegs. This “hollowing of the middle” does not mean that all countries will or should move to the very end of the exchange rate spectrum. In particular, for any but the largest and most advanced countries moving to the floating end of the range of regimes, the behavior of the exchange rate typically will remain a matter for policy concern and intervention may occasionally be appropriate. Neither will the middle be hollow for some time to come. Thus, crawling pegs or bands, for instance, can represent viable alternatives provided, however, that macroeconomic policies be kept consistent with the particular system that is chosen.