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Foreign Currency Intermediation: Systemic Risk and Macroprudential Regulation

Joseph Bitar

Latin American Journal of Central Banking (previously Monetaria), 2021, vol. 2, issue 2

Abstract: Despite the progress made on the empirical front, normative analyses are still lacking when it comes to foreign currency intermediation (partial dollarization of the domestic banking system) and the ways to address its systemic risks implications. In this paper, we make a comprehensive analysis of the liquidity and the foreign exchange (FX) systemic risks implied by foreign currency intermediation. We explain the trade-off between the positive effect of foreign currency intermediation on growth in tranquil times and its negative effect in terms of financial fragility. We review the narrative and econometric country studies that have been done so far to assess the effectiveness of FX-related macroprudential measures. Through the results of past studies and a comparison of the experiences of Latin American and transition European economies, we show the advantages of administrative macroprudential measures over price-related measures in dealing with liquidity and FX systemic risks. We show that neutralizing those systemic risks is possible without aiming at directly limiting or banning foreign currency intermediation (i.e., dedollarizing). We argue that dedollarization is a more ambitious target that must be justified by the other inconveniences of foreign currency intermediation, and we stress that sound monetary management should be a prerequisite to dedollarization.

Keywords: Foreign currency intermediation; Dollarization; Systemic risk; Macroprudential regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E42 E58 F33 G28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.latcb.2021.100028

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Latin American Journal of Central Banking (previously Monetaria) is currently edited by Manuel Ramos-Francia

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