Reverse Causality in Global Current Accounts

Gunther Schnabl; Stephan Freitag

Juni 2010

Abstract

The paper discusses global imbalances under the aspect of an asymmetric world monetary system. It identifies the US and Germany as center countries with rising/high current account deficits (US) and surpluses (Germany). These are matched by current account surpluses of countries stabilizing their exchange rates against the dollar (dollar periphery) and current account deficits of countries stabilizing their exchange rate against the euro (euro periphery). Meanwhile, the aggregate current account balance of the euro area has been by and large balanced. The paper finds that changes of world current account positions are affected by the macroeconomic policy decisions both in the centers and peripheries, albeit the centers – due to structural characteristics related to size – are argued to have a higher degree of freedom in macroeconomic policy making. In specific, expansionary monetary policy in the US as well as exchange rate stabilization and sterilization policies in the dollar periphery are found to have contributed to global current account imbalances. Given that the sample period for the analysis extends from 1981-2008, the results for Germany mostly capture the situation before the euro was created.

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Europäischer geldpolitischer Exit im Zeichen von QE2 und Staatsanleihekäufen der EZB

Ansgar Belke; Gunther Schnabl

Juni 2010

Abstract

Wandernde Blasen, Krisen und hektische geldpolitische Rettungsaktionen haben das globale Zinsniveau gegen Null und die Staatsverschuldung in den großen Industrieländern auf historische Rekordstände gebracht. Das Papier analysiert die Optionen für den Exit aus Niedrigzinspolitiken und nicht nachhaltiger Staatsverschuldung im Lichte einer exzessiven geldpolitischen Lockerung in den USA (QE2). Der Exit aus den expansiven Geldpolitiken wird aus drei Perspektiven analysiert. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit eines koordinierten Exits von Fed und EZB, der koordinierte Exit von Geld- und Fiskalpolitik in der EWU sowie das Auslaufen quasifiskalischer Aktivitäten der EZB. Die Analyse kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass aufgrund der sehr komplexen Herausforderungen die Koordinierung des "Nicht-Exits" wahrscheinlicher als die Koordinierung des Exits ist.

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A Vicious Cycle of Manias, Crashes and Asymmetric Policy Responses – An Overinvestment View

Andreas Hoffmann; Gunther Schnabl

November 2009

Abstract

The business cycles theories of Wicksell (1898), Schumpeter (1912), Mises (1912), Hayek (1929, 1935) and Minsky (1986, 1992) explain business cycles by distorted prices on capital markets, buoyant credit expansion and overinvestment. The exuberance during the boom endogenously causes the subsequent slump. While these theories put the emphasis on explaining the emergence of the cycle, this paper focuses on the macroeconomic policy responses during and after the crisis, when panic tightens credit supply. The paper allows an assessment of the long-term consequences of an asymmetric monetary and fiscal policy response to financial crisis.

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Geldpolitik, Vagabundierende Liquidität Und Platzende Blasen in Neuen Und Aufstrebenden Märkten (Monetary Policy, Vagabonding Liquidity and Bursting Bubbles in New and Emerging Markets)

Andreas Hoffmann; Gunther Schnabl

April 2007

Abstract

We show how since the mid 1980s expansionary monetary policies in the large economies and vagabonding liquidity have contributed to bubbles in the new and emerging markets. Based on the monetary overinvestment theories of Hayek and Wicksell we describe a wave of bubbles and crises that was initiated in Japan by an expansionary monetary policy in the mid 1980s. After the burst of the Japanese bubble and sharply declining interest rates in Japan, carry trade transmitted the bubbles to East Asia (Asian crisis) and the new markets in the developed economies. After the end of the irrational exuberance in the new markets, new bubbles emerged in the US real estate market and possibly currently in China and Central and Eastern Europe. Because particularly Japan and the US have tended to lower interest rates in response to financial crisis, the low interest rate policies in the large countries and thereby speculative exaggerations may continue. According to Wicksell and Hayek a higher level of interest rates in the large countries would reveal the structural distortions that have come along with the ample liquidity supply.

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