CHAP 10 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE DETERMINATION AND FORECASTING Multinational Business Finance
Foreign Exchange Rate Determination • Exchange rate determination is complex. • The following exhibit provides an overview of the many determinants of exchange rates. • the three major schools of thought (parity conditions, balance of payments approach, asset market approach). • These are not competing theories but rather complementary theories.
Foreign Exchange Rate Determination • Without the depth and breadth of the various approaches combined, our ability to capture the complexity of the global market for currencies is limited. • In addition to gaining an understanding of the basic theories, it is equally important to gain a working knowledge of: • the complexities of international political economy; • societal and economic infrastructures; and, • random political, economic, or social events affect the exchange rate markets.
Exchange Rate Determination: The Theoretical Thread 0 • The theory of purchasing power parityis the most widely accepted theory of all exchange rate determination theories: • PPP is the oldest and most widely followed of the exchange rate theories. • Most exchange rate determination theories have PPP elements embedded within their frameworks. • PPP calculations and forecasts are however plagued with structural differences across countries.
Exchange Rate Determination: The Theoretical Thread 0 • The balance of payments approachis the second most utilized theoretical approach in exchange rate determination: • The basic approach argues that the equilibrium exchange rate is found when net currency inflows (inflow) from capital account activities match up with net currency outflows (inflows) from current account activities. • This framework enjoys wide appeal as BOP transaction data is readily available and widely reported.
Exchange Rate Determination: The Theoretical Thread 0 • The monetary approach states that the exchange rate is determined by the supply and demand for national monetary stocks, as well as the expected future levels and rates of growth of monetary stocks. • Other financial assets, such as bonds are not considered relevant for exchange rate determination, as both domestic and foreign bonds are viewed as perfect substitutes.
Exchange Rate Determination: The Theoretical Thread 0 • The asset market approachargues that exchange rates are determined by the supply and demand for a wide variety of financial assets: • Shifts in the supply and demand for financial assets alter exchange rates. • Changes in monetary and fiscal policy alter expected returns and perceived relative risks of financial assets, which in turn alter exchange rates.
Exchange Rate Determination: The Theoretical Thread 0 • The forecasting inadequacies of fundamental theories has led to the growth and popularity of technical analysis, the belief that the study of past price behavior provides insights into future price movements. • The primary assumption is that exchange rates follows trends.
The Asset Market Approach to Forecasting 0 • The asset market approach assumes that whether foreigners are willing to hold claims in monetary form depends on an extensive set of investment considerations or drivers (among others): • Relative real interest rates • Prospects for economic growth • Capital market liquidity • A country’s economic and social infrastructure • Political safety • Corporate governance practices • Contagion (spread of a crisis within a region) • Speculation
The Asset Market Approach to Forecasting 0 • Foreign investors are willing to hold securities and undertake foreign direct investment in highly developed countries based primarily on relative real interest rates and the outlook for economic growth and profitability. • The asset market approach is also applicable to emerging markets, however in these cases a number of additional variables contribute to exchange rate determination (previous slide).
Disequilibrium: Exchange Rates in Emerging Markets 0 • Although the three different schools of thought on exchange rate determination (parity conditions, balance of payments approach, asset approach) make understanding exchange rates appear to be straightforward, that it rarely the case. • The large and liquid capital and currency markets follow many of the principles outlined so far relatively well in the medium to long term. • The smaller and less liquid markets, however, frequently demonstrate behaviors that seemingly contradict the theory. • The problem lies not in the theory, but in the relevance of the assumptions underlying the theory.
Illustrative Case: The Asian Crisis 0 • The roots of the Asian currency crisis extended from a fundamental change in the economics of the region, the transition of many Asian nations from being net exporters to net importers. • The most visible roots of the crisis were the excess capital inflows into Thailand in 1996 and early 1997. • As the investment “bubble” expanded, some market participants questioned the ability of the economy to repay the rising amount of debt and the Thai bhat came under attack.
Illustrative Case: The Asian Crisis 0 • The Thai government intervened directly (using up precious hard currency reserves) and indirectly by raising interest rates in support of the currency. • Soon thereafter, the Thai investment markets ground to a halt and the Thai central bank allowed the bhat to float. • The bhat fell dramatically and soon other Asian currencies (Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Indonesian rupiah) came under speculative attack.
Illustrative Case: The Asian Crisis 0 • The Asian economic crisis (which was much more than just a currency collapse) had many roots besides traditional balance of payments difficulties: • Corporate socialism • Corporate governance • Banking liquidity and management • What started as a currency crisis became a region-wide recession.
Illustrative Case: The Argentine Crisis of 2002 0 • In 1991 the Argentine peso had been fixed to the US dollar at a one-to-one rate of exchange. • A currency board structure was implemented in an effort eliminate the source inflation that had devastated the nation’s standard of living in the past.
Illustrative Case: The Argentine Crisis of 2002 0 • By 2001, after three years of recession, three important problems with the Argentine economy became apparent: • The Argentine Peso was overvalued • The currency board regime had eliminated monetary policy alternatives for macroeconomic policy • The Argentine government budget deficit – and deficit spending – was out of control
Illustrative Case: The Argentine Crisis of 2002 0 • In January 2002, the peso was devalued as a result of enormous social pressures resulting from deteriorating economic conditions and substantial runs on banks. • However, the economic pain continued and the banking system remained insolvent. • Social unrest continued as the economic and political systems within the country collapsed; certain government actions set the stage for a constitutional crisis.
Forecasting in Practice 0 • Technical analysts, traditionally referred to as chartists, focus on price and volume data to determine past trends that are expected to continue into the future. • The single most important element of technical analysis is that future exchange rates are based on the current exchange rate. • Exchange rate movements can be subdivided into three periods: • Day-to-day • Short-term (several days to several months) • Long-term
Forecasting in Practice 0 • The longer the time horizon of the forecast, the more inaccurate the forecast is likely to be. • Forecasting for the long run must depend on the economic fundamentals of exchange rate determination.
Forecasting: What to Think? 0 • It appears, from decades of theoretical and empirical studies, that exchange rates do adhere to the fundamental principles and theories previously outlined. • Fundamentals do apply in the long term • There is, therefore, something of a fundamental equilibrium path for a currency’s value.
Forecasting: What to Think? 0 • It also seems that in the short term, a variety of random events, institutional frictions, and technical factors may cause currency values to deviate significantly from their long-term fundamental path. • This behavior is sometimes referred to as noise. • Therefore, we might expect deviations from the long-term path not only to occur, but to occur with some regularity and relative longevity.
Exhibit 10.8 Differentiating Short-Term Noise from Long-Term Trends 0
Mini-Case Questions: JP Morgan Chase’s Forecasting Accuracy 0 • How would you actually go about calculating the statistical accuracy of these forecasts? Would Vesi have been better off using the current spot rate as the forecast of the future spot rate, 90 days out? • Forecasting the future is obviously a daunting challenge. All things considered, how well do you think JPMC is doing? • If you were Vesi, what would you conclude about the relative accuracy of JPMC’s spot rate forecasts?
Exhibit 10.2 The Economies and Currencies of Asia, July–November 1997