De terugkeer van de valutacrisis

CAMBRIDGE – Schommelingen op de valutamarkt bestaan al decennia als niet eeuwen. Grote fluctuaties van wisselkoersen werden gewoon op de financiële markten nadat het Bretton Woods-systeem begin jaren zeventig instortte, en mega-devaluaties waren later in het decennium en gedurende een groot deel van de jaren tachtig gemeengoed, toen inflatie een groot deel van de wereld in zijn greep had. Zelfs gedurende een groot deel van de jaren negentig en de vroege jaren tweeduizend had 10 tot 20% van de landen wereldwijd elk jaar te maken met een grote valuta-devaluatie of krach.

En toen werd het plotseling rustig. Afgezien van de gekte geassocieerd met de mondiale financiële crisis van eind 2008 begin 2009, waren valutacrises tussen 2004 en 2014 (zie inzet) ver te zoeken. Maar recente ontwikkelingen suggereren dat de windstilte gedurende die tien jaar later wellicht herinnerd zal worden als de uitzondering die de regel bevestigt.

Het bijna verdwijnen van valutacrises in de periode tussen 2004 en 2014 reflecteert grotendeels lage en stabiele internationale rentetarieven en grote kapitaalstromen richting opkomende markten, gekoppeld aan een hausse in grondstoffenprijzen en (meestens) gezonde groeiratio’s in landen die ontsnapten aan de mondiale financiële crisis. Als gevolg hiervan was de grootste zorg van veel landen tijdens deze jaren om een duurzame opwaardering tegenover de dollar en de munteenheden van andere handelspartners te voorkomen.

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