Foreign Safe Asset Demand and the Dollar Exchange Rate
98 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 2018
We develop a theory that links the U.S. dollar’s valuation in FX markets to the convenience yield that foreign investors derive from holding U.S. safe assets. We show that this convenience yield can be inferred from the Treasury basis: the yield gap between U.S. government and currency-hedged foreign government bonds. Consistent with the theory, a widening of the basis coincides with an immediate appreciation and a subsequent depreciation of the dollar. Our results lend empirical support to models which impute a special role to the U.S. as the world’s provider of safe assets and the dollar, the world’s reserve currency.
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