Dollars Francis Dean/Getty Images

Will Dollar Strength Trigger Intervention in 2017?

While it is quite plausible to expect that Dona'd Trump’s incoming US administration will want to reverse the dollar’s climb, it is equally plausible that no other major economy will help. If the strong dollar prompts intervention in currency markets in 2017, the most likely scenario is one in which the US intervenes alone.

CAMBRIDGE – Only a small group of central banks refrain from intervening in the foreign-exchange market to stabilize their currencies’ exchange rate or coax it in the desired direction. Even when they do not intervene directly, their interest-rate policies are often formulated to be compatible with exchange-rate objectives. As a result, freely floating currencies are comparatively rare. This has important implications for the United States authorities as they confront a sharp rise in the dollar’s exchange rate.

When a potential or actual loss of confidence in the currency threatens to bring about large capital outflows, intervention usually takes the form of sales of foreign-exchange reserves to mitigate the magnitude or speed of depreciation. The People’s Bank of China’s ongoing reserve losses are a salient recent example. The most recent US intervention in foreign-exchange markets (which has been rare in general) to support a weak dollar dates back to 1992-1995.

At the other end of the spectrum, concerns about lower international competitiveness as a result of significant currency appreciation may be even more common among policymakers and export-oriented firms. Worries about overvalued currencies permeated policy discussions in many emerging markets as recently as 2013, and sustained efforts to lean against the wind of appreciation resulted in record reserve accumulation for many central banks.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/PYzyzb3;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.