The Impact of Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates During Financial Crises

53 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2000

See all articles by David Gould

David Gould

Institute of International Finance

Steven B. Kamin

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

This paper addresses the impact of monetary policy on exchange rates during financial crises. Some observers have argued that a tightening of monetary policy is necessary to stabilize the exchange rate, restore confidence, and lay the groundwork for an eventual recovery of economic activity. Others have argued that by raising interest rates (which reduces the ability of borrowers to repay loans and thereby weakens the banking system), tightening may further reduce investor confidence and lead to further weakening - not strengthening - of domestic currencies.

This debate, which became highly charged during the Asian financial crisis, remains unresolved. A key reason is that, because of the endogeneity of interest rates with respect to exchange rates and investor expectations, it is difficult to use statistical analysis to identify the impact of monetary policy on the exchange rate. In our research, we use measures of international credit spreads and of domestic stock prices as proxies for investor concerns about creditworthiness and country risk in order to better identify the impact of monetary policies on the exchange rate. Using weekly data from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Mexico, we find that credit spreads and stock prices exert significant impacts on exchange rates during financial crises, but interest rates still are not estimated to have significant effects. We conclude that while monetary policy probably does exert an important influence over exchange rates, this most likely takes place slowly, as central banks attempt to establish credibility, and over longer periods of time than can be captured in our analysis.

Keywords: interest rates, currency values

JEL Classification: E52, F31

Suggested Citation

Gould, David and Kamin, Steven B., The Impact of Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates During Financial Crises (2000). International Finance Working Paper No. 669. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235003 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.235003

David Gould (Contact Author)

Institute of International Finance ( email )

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Washington, DC 20005-4770
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Steven B. Kamin

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

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United States
202-452-3339 (Phone)
202-736-5638 (Fax)

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