Thursday, May 19, 2011

FX interventions can work

IMF admits that FX intervention can be effective (a significant change in Fund's views - heretofore FX interventions were anathema), as argued in an interesting paper and an accompanying article on the efficiency of FX interventions in Latin America published on the IMF's blog.

The article's conclusions are that while "results do not detect an immediate impact of interventions on the rate of appreciation, but do find statistically significant effects on the pace of appreciation: on average, increasing interventions by 0.1 percent of GDP will produce—in one week and in comparison to a country that does not intervene—a 0.3 percent slowdown in the pace of appreciation."

In addition, authors find that FX "effectiveness is not dependent on the use of rules or discretionary frameworks, or on the degree of transparency. However, greater financial integration may significantly reduce the effectiveness of interventions. In fact, intervention is more effective in Asia than in Latin America, which is consistent with the differences in financial integration across the two regions" and that "interventions are most effective when there are signs of the currency being overvalued compared to its recent history. This is especially noticeable in Latin America and highlights the importance of intervening “when the time is right,” and never “too early”."

Something for our policymakers to ponder?

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