Archive for May 13th, 2010

RBI’s Inflation Expectations Survey of Households

May 13, 2010

RBI mentions this inflation expectations survey in its monetary policy, but very little is known about it. There is hardly any discussion. Given how important inflation expectation is for a central bank and economy, it is surprising to see most people giving it a miss. And houselhold surveys are an important way to measure inflation expectations.

The survey is carried out in RBI bulletin. It should ideally be also published as a seperate publication so that people read it.  

The recent survey is for the period Jan 10-Mar 10. The survey has superb charts and tables to analyse emerging trends. The recent survey shows inflation expectations are picking up in households:

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Subbarao on capital inflow issues

May 13, 2010

Swiss National Bank organised a high level conference with IMF on International Monetary System

Philipp Hildebrand Chairman of SNB Board gives opening remarks. IMF chief shares his views.

RBI Governor Subbarao speaks on capital inflows and the problems it poses for emerging economies (EME).

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Primer on Central Banks foreign exchange swap lines

May 13, 2010

NY Fed economists Michael Fleming and Nicholas Klagge have a nice short note on the topic. The paer is highly timely as swap lines have been reintroduced. They wrote the paper in April 2010 and would not have expected reopening of these swap lines.How these swap lines work?

The swaps involved two transactions. At initiation, when a foreign central bank drew on its swap line, it sold a specified quantity of its currency to the Fed in exchange for dollars at the prevailing market exchange rate. At the same time, the Fed and the foreign central bank entered into an agreement that obligated the foreign central bank to buy back its currency at a future date at the same exchange rate. Because the exchange rate for the second transaction was set at the time of the fi rst, there was no exchange rate risk associated with the swaps.

The foreign central bank lent the borrowed dollars to institutions in its jurisdiction through a variety of methods, including variable rate and fi xed-rate auctions. In every case, the arrangement was between the foreign central bank and the institution receiving funds. The foreign central bank determined the eligibility of institutions and the acceptability of their collateral. And the foreign central bank remained obligated to return the dollars to the Fed and bore the credit risk for the loans it made.

At the conclusion of the swap, the foreign central bank paid the Fed an amount of interest on the dollars borrowed that was equal to the amount the central bank earned on its dollar lending operations. In contrast, the Fed did not pay interest on the foreign currency it acquired in the swap transaction, but committed to holding the currency at the foreign central bank instead of lending it or investing it. This arrangement avoided the reserve-management diffi culties that might arise at foreign central banks if the Fed were to invest its foreign currency holdings in the market

The authors also analyse whether swap lines worked in their first version. They look at three methods. Broad summary is:

Early evidence suggests that the swap lines were successful in smoothing disruptions in overseas dollar funding markets. Swap line announcements and operations were associated with improved  conditions in these markets: Although measures of dollar funding pressures remained high throughout the crisis period, they tended to moderate following large increases in dollars lent under the swap line program. Moreover, the sharp decline in swap line usage as the crisis ebbed suggests that the pricing of funds offered through swap lines gave institutions an incentive to return to private sources of funding as market conditions improved.

Obviously there will be more papers in future on swap lines – version 1 and version 2. It also opens up questions over International Monetary System which relies on USD as the reserve currency.

Interesting links

May 13, 2010

There is so much to read…..

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