# 12/03/2012. Currencies and Exchange Rates

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1 The Canadian dollar is one of 100s of different monies. The three big monies: the U.S. dollar, yen, and euro. In February 2007, one Canadian dollar bought 85 U.S. cents. By November 2007, the Canadian dollar soared to \$US1.09. Why do currency exchange rates fluctuate? From the early 1980s until 1999, Canada s imports exceeded its exports and Canada borrowed a total of \$223 billion. During the 2000s, Canada s exports exceeded its imports, and Canada repaid \$178 billion of its earlier borrowing. Why does Canada sometimes borrow from foreigners, and at other times repay its international debts? Currencies and Exchange Rates To buy goods and services produced in another country we need money of that country. Foreign bank notes, coins, and bank deposits are called foreign currency. We get foreign currency in the foreign exchange market. 1

2 Currencies and Exchange Rates Currencies and Exchange Rates We get foreign currency and foreigners get Canadian dollars in the foreign exchange market. The foreign exchange market is the market in which the currency of one country is exchanged for the currency of another. Exchange Rates The price at which one currency exchanges for another is called a foreign exchange rate. A fall in the value of one currency in terms of another currency is called currency depreciation. A rise in value of one currency in terms of another currency is called currency appreciation. Currencies and Exchange Rates Currencies and Exchange Rates Nominal and Real Exchange Rates The nominal exchange rate is the value of the Canadian dollar expressed in units of foreign currency per Canadian dollar. It is a measure of how much of a foreign currency exchanges for one Canadian dollar. The real exchange rate is the relative price of foreignproduced goods and services. It is a measure of the quantity of real GDP of other countries that we get for a unit of Canadian real GDP. Call the Canadian price level P, the Chinese price level P*, the nominal exchange rate E yuan per dollar, then the Real exchange rate = E (P/P*). The real exchange rate equal the nominal exchange rate multiplied by the ratio of the Canadian price level to the foreign price level. 2

5 Supply in the Foreign Exchange Market The quantity of Canadian dollars supplied in the foreign exchange market is the amount that traders plan to sell during a given time period at a given exchange rate. This quantity depends on 1. The exchange rate 2. Canadian demand for imports 3. Interest rates in Canada and other countries 4. The expected future exchange rate The Law of Supply of Foreign Exchange Other things remaining the same, the higher the exchange rate, the greater is the quantity of Canadian dollars supplied in the foreign exchange market. The exchange rate influences the quantity of Canadian dollars supplied for two reasons: Imports effect Imports Effect The larger the value of Canadian imports, the larger is the quantity of Canadian dollars supplied on the foreign exchange market. The higher the exchange rate, the greater is the value of Canadian imports, so the greater is the quantity of Canadian dollars supplied. Expected profit effect 5

6 Expected Profit Effect For a given expected future Canadian dollar exchange rate, the lower the current exchange rate, the greater is the expected profit from holding Canadian dollars, and the smaller is the quantity of Canadian dollars supplied on the foreign exchange market. Supply Curve for Canadian Dollars Figure 25.3 illustrates the supply curve of Canadian dollars in the foreign exchange market. Market Equilibrium Figure 25.4 shows how demand and supply in the foreign exchange market determine the exchange rate. 6

8 The Expected Future Exchange Rate At a given current exchange rate, if the expected future exchange rate for Canadian dollars rises, the demand for Canadian dollars increases and the demand curve for dollars shifts rightward. Figure 25.5 shows how the demand curve for Canadian dollars shifts in response to changes in Canadian exports, the Canadian interest rate differential, and expectations of future exchange rates. Changes in the Supply of Dollars A change in any influence on the quantity of Canadian dollars that people plan to sell, other than the exchange rate, brings a change in the supply of dollars and a shift in the supply curve of dollars. These other influences are Canadian demand for imports Canadian interest rates relative to the foreign interest rate The expected future exchange rate 8

13 Borrowers and Lenders A country that is borrowing more from the rest of the world than it is lending to it is called a net borrower. A country that is lending more to the rest of the world than it is borrowing from it is called a net lender. Canada is currently a net lender, but in most years before 2000 Canada was a net borrower. Debtors and Creditors A debtor nation is a country that during its entire history has borrowed more from the rest of the world than it has lent to it. Canada is a debtor nation. A creditor nation is a country that has invested more in the rest of the world than other countries have invested in it. The difference between being a borrower/lender nation and being a creditor/debtor nation is the difference between stocks and flows of financial capital. Being a net borrower is not a problem provided the borrowed funds are used to finance capital accumulation that increases income. Being a net borrower is a problem if the borrowed funds are used to finance consumption. Current Account Balance The current account balance (CAB) is CAB = NX + Net interest income + Net transfers The main item in the current account balance is net exports (NX). The other two items are much smaller and don t fluctuate much. 13

14 The government sector surplus or deficit is equal to net taxes, T, minus government expenditure on goods and services G. The private sector surplus or deficit is saving, S, minus investment, I. Net exports is equal to the sum of government sector balance and private sector balance: For Canada in 2007, Net exports was a surplus of \$31 billion. Government sector surplus was \$41 billion Private sector deficit was \$10 billion Net exports equals the sum of the government sector surplus and the private sector deficit. NX = (T G) + (S I) Where is the Exchange Rate? In the short run, a fall in the nominal exchange rate lowers the real exchange rate, which makes our imports more costly and our exports more competitive. So in the short run, fall in the nominal exchange rate decreases the current account deficit. But in the long run, a change in the nominal exchange rate leaves the real exchange rate unchanged. So in the long run, the nominal exchange rate plays no role in influencing the current account balance. Exchange Rate Policy Three possible exchange rate policies are Flexible exchange rate Fixed exchange rate Crawling peg Flexible Exchange Rate A flexible exchange rate policy is one that permits the exchange rate to be determined by demand and supply with no direct intervention in the foreign exchange market by the central bank. 14

15 Exchange Rate Policy Fixed Exchange Rate A fixed exchange rate policy is one that pegs the exchange rate at a value decided by the government or central bank and that blocks the unregulated forces of demand and supply by direct intervention in the foreign exchange market. A fixed exchange rate requires active intervention in the foreign exchange market. Exchange Rate Policy Figure 25.7 shows how the Bank can intervene in the foreign exchange market to keep the exchange rate close to a target rate. Suppose that the target is 90 U.S. cents per Canadian dollar. If demand increases, the Bank of Canada sells Canadian dollars to increase supply. Exchange Rate Policy If demand decreases, the Bank of Canada buys Canadian dollars to decrease supply. Persistent intervention on one side of the foreign exchange market cannot be sustained. 15

16 Exchange Rate Policy Crawling Peg A crawling peg exchange rate policy is one that selects a target path for the exchange rate with intervention in the foreign exchange market to achieve that path. China is a country that operates a crawling peg. A crawling peg works like a fixed exchange rate except that the target value changes. The idea behind a crawling peg is to avoid wild swings in the exchange rate that might happen if expectations became volatile and to avoid the problem of running out of reserves, which can happen with a fixed exchange rate. 16

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