Asian currency crisis

According to Kaminsky and Reinhart, 1999, there have been many currency crises during the post-war era. They can be classified as first-, second- or third-generation currency crisis. A currency crisis is an episode in which the exchange rate depreciates substantially during a short period of time.

FIRST GENERATION CURRENCY CRISIS MODEL:

Krugman (1979) and Flood and Garber (1984) models come under first generation models. It states that, traders speculate against fixed exchange rate in order to profit from an anticipated speculation. In first-generation models, the collapse of a fixed exchange rate regime is caused by unsustainable fiscal policy. A hallmark of first-generation models is that the government runs a persistent primary deficit. The key ingredients of a first-generation model are purchasing power parity (PPP), government budget constraint, timing of deficits, money demand function, government's rule for abandoning the fixed exchange rate and the post-crisis monetary policy. In first-generation models the government follows an exogenous rule to decide when to abandon the fixed exchange rate regime.

This model suggests that-

  • The crisis is due to the poor government policy. The source of the upward trend in the shadow exchange rate is given by the increase in domestic credit.
  • Even though the crisis is sudden, it is a deterministic event: the crisis is inevitable given the policies and the timing is in principle predictable.
  • These models are not harmful and it doesn't have effect on output.
  • The crisis determination is a future policy stances that investors foresee, not the one observed in the past. The importance of policy choice in deciding to quit the fixed exchange rate regime.
  • In fist generation models, there is no relation between capital flight and abandonment of the peg.
  • There is no long-run equilibrium exchange rate.

SECOND GENERATION CURRENCY CRISIS MODEL:

These models are mainly based on the interactions between expectations, macro economic trade-offs and decisions. These are characterized by multiple equilibria and the interactions between market expectations and policy outcomes. In second-generation models the government maximizes an explicit objective function (Obstfeld, 1994). This maximization problem dictates if and when the government will abandon the fixed exchange rate regime.

These differs from the first generation models in no irresponsible policy, no predictability of the crisis and there is no negative impact on employment and output if the country leaves the peg.

MORAL HAZARD

Moral hazard is a situation where one party has more information(usually the party that is insulated from the risk) than the other in a transaction (usually the party paying for the negative consequences of the risk). It arises because an individual/institution does not take the full responsibilities of its doings and also from principal-agent problem.

EXPANDED GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES FOR BANK LIABILITIES:

A key element of policy crisis is the government provision of a financial safety net for financial institutions. So governments have felt obliged to go beyond the usual support measures, moving to expand existing guarantees and to introduce new ones. The valuation problems and other related actions like loss sharing arrangements for assets and capital injections were appeared to prevent further loss of confidence on the part of market participants by raising that the retail depositors and other creditors would continue to provide a stable source of funding for banks. It leads in reducing the threat of insolvency of these entities. By doing this, the government earns a small fee from the debt issuer for lending out its top credit rating like as financial guarantee insurance companies,. There are no further hidden costs associated with these measures. Even if guarantees do not generate significant upfront fiscal costs, they create large contingent fiscal liabilities, as well as other potential costs that may arise as a result of distortions of incentives and competition. Another important issue related to the additional guarantees is their pricing. In this respect, the potential distortions should be limited to the extent that government guarantees are priced appropriately. By contrast, distortions may arise because when guarantees are offered at prices that are substantially lower than market or some form of fair prices.

WORKING OF CIRCULAR PROCESS IN REVERSE TO CAUSE ASSET PRICES COLLAPSES

The mechanism of crisis involved that same circular process but in reverse: falling asset prices made the insolvency of intermediaries visible, forcing them to cease operations, leading to further asset deflation. This circularity explain both the remarkable severity of the crisis and the apparent vulnerability of the Asian economies to self-fulfilling crisis. The boom-bust cycle in Asian economies experienced in the investment and in asset prices. It showed that assets were in imperfectly elastic supply. In the first period, investors bid for fixed assets(land) and set their price. In the second period they receive rents, which are uncertain at the time of bidding. The intermediaries can bid on the land based not on the expected value of future rent but on the Pangloss value. So all assets will end up owned by intermediaries, and the price of the assets will be double what it would be in an undistorted economy.

MORAL HAZARD CAUSING A DEADWEIGHT SOCIAL LOSS

Moral hazard is the lack of any incentive to guard against a risk when you are protected against it by the insurance is called moral hazard. It is the phenomenon of undertaking risky corrupt loans and transactions, but knowing that if it fails the state will pick up the tab.

In the table 1, one yields $107 million; the other will yield $120 million in favourable conditions (good state), but only $80 million in unfavourable conditions(bad state). The good state and the bad state are equally likely, so that the expected returns on this risky investment are $100 million. But, the owner of the financial intermediary knows that while he can capture the excess returns in the good state, he can walk away from the losses in the bad state. So if he chooses the safe investment he gains a sure 7; but if he chooses the risky investment he gains 20 in the good state, loses nothing in the bad state, for an expected gain of 10. Thus his incentive is to choose the risky investment, even though it has a lower expected return. And this distortion of investment decisions produces a deadweight social loss: the expected net return on the invested capital falls from $7 million to zero.

The globalization of trade and finance is changing international relationships at several levels of interaction like in the conduct of commercial activities, in relation to labour standards, the protection of physical environment and in other social and political issues. Both the captivity and the willingness of the parties who control financial capital to supply or withdraw capital from an economy quickly contribute to the rapid development as well as the severity of balance of payments and debt crisis for some economies. The process of globalization leads to an overall increase in the level of economic activity and everyone benefits from this process. The potential benefit of financial globalization will likely lead to a more financially interconnected world and a deeper degree of financial integration of developing countries with international financial markets. The main benefit of financial globalization for developing countries is the development of their financial system (Levine, 2001). There are two main channels through which financial globalization promotes financial development. First, financial globalization implies that a new type of capital and more capital is available to developing countries. Second, financial globalization leads to a better financial infrastructure, which mitigates information asymmetries and, as a consequence, reduces the problems such as adverse selection and moral hazard.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE EXPECTED VALUE OF LAND RENT AND ITS CORRESPONDING PENGLOSS VALUE

There is a two period model to explain land value. In the first period, investors bid for land and setting its price. In the second period they receive rents, which are uncertain at the time of bidding. The financial intermediaries will be willing to bid on the land, based not on the expected value of future rent but on the Pangloss value. So all land will end up owned by intermediaries, and the price of land will be double what it would be in an undistorted economy. In an undistorted economy we can solve backwards for the price. The expected rent in period 3, and therefore the price of land purchased at the end of period 2, is 50.

Therefore the expected return on land purchased in period 1 is = The expected rent in period 2 (50) + The expected price at which it can be sold (50), for a first-period price of 100.

This is also the total expected rent over the two periods. Now suppose that intermediaries are in a position to borrow with guarantees. Again working backward, at the end of period 2 they will be willing to pay the Pangloss value of third-period rent, 100.

In period 1, they will be willing to pay the most they could hope to realize off a piece of land: the Pangloss rent in period 2, plus the Pangloss price of land at the end of that period.

So the price of land with intermediation in period 1 will be 200. It seems that the multi-period version of the model, in which part of the return to investment depends on the future prices of assets, makes no real difference to the distortion of those prices imposed by guaranteed intermediaries. However, this result changes in a dramatic way once we allow for the possibility of changes in the financial regime - that is, if we believe that moral hazard may be a sometime thing.

KRUGMAN'S MODEL JUSTIFICATION ON OCUURANCE OF SELF-FULFILLING FINANCIAL CRISIS

A key feature of a self-fulfilling crisis is the collective action of economic agents(Obstfeld, 1996 and Radelet and Sachs, 1998). This collective action may be promoted either by random shocks or the direction given by an obvious market leader. In both cases, if the intrinsic self-fulfillingness is believed to be the main reason for the financial crisis, then relatively little can be proposed in the way of future preventive policies. Self-fulfilling crisis may happen even though the country's financial management is strong. So tough measures such as regulating sort-term capital flows were proposed to prevent the crisis.

Krugman noted that the conflicts among the policy objectives do not necessarily ensure a random occurrence of crisis, even if the policy is formulated endogenously. He also stated that when market participants expect gradual worsening of market fundamentals, the economy tends to have unique equilibrium, and crisis erupts as soon as the economy heads into a crisis zone. If the crisis do not occur when an economy enters the crisis zone, this could be due to both arbitary nature of expectations as well as changing expectations about future fundamentals.

EXPLANATION OF ASIAN CRISIS 1997 BY KRUGMAN'S MODEL

The Asian financial crises can be attributed to three major factors. They are international factor, domestic factor and intrinsic market failure. Among these three, both the domestic and international factors didn't responsible to much cause of Asian crisis, but the third one intrinsic market failure was responsible for that crisis. So the Asian crisis was because of a unpredictable self-fulfilling financial panic, which is a phenomenon typical of market failure. A key feature of a self-fulfilling crisis is the collective action of economic agents. This collective action may be promoted either by random shocks or the direction given by an obvious market leader. In both cases, if the intrinsic self-fulfillingness is believed to be the main reason for the financial crisis, then relatively little can be proposed in the way of future preventive policies. Self-fulfilling crisis may happen even though the country's financial management is strong. So tough measures such as regulating sort-term capital flows were proposed to prevent the crisis.

The East Asian crisis shed the light on the world economy to prevent or escape from the effects of similar crisis that will result in the future. Such developments relate to the deregulated nature of world financial markets, so that the triggering mechanism of a crisis may be financial. This is not to deny that financial panics may also emanate in situations where there has been no significant deterioration in the real economy above all on the profit rates. Hence when profits start to dip a careful calculation needs to be made. In regard to direct investment, the decision naturally cannot be acted upon with immediate effect, but in financial markets exiting from markets can be done almost instantaneously.

REFERENCES

  • Burnside, C., Eichenbaum, M. and Rebelo, S. 2001a. Prospective deficits and the Asian currency crisis. Journal of Political Economy 109, 1155-98.
  • Speculative attacks. Journal of Economic Theory 119, 31-63.
  • Caballero, R. and Krishnamurthy, A. 2001. International and domestic collateral constraints in a model of emerging market crises. Journal of Monetary Economics 48, 513-48.
  • Diamond, D. and Dybvig, P. 1983. Bank runs, deposit insurance and liquidity. Journal of Political Economy 91, 401-19.
  • Diaz-Alejandro, C. 1985. Good-bye financial repression, hello financial crash. Journal of Development Economics 19, 1-24.
  • Flood, R. and Marion, N. 1999. Perspectives on the recent currency crisis literature. International Journal of Finance and Economics 4, 1-26.
  • Krugman, P. 1979. A model of balance of payments crises. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 11, 311-25.
  • Krugman, P. (1998), "What happened to Asia?", The official P. Krugman web-page.

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