Center for Pacific Basin Studies

The Center for Pacific Basin Studies promotes cooperation among central banks in the Pacific Basin and provide insight into and analysis of economic policy issues affecting the region.

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Pacific Basin Notes

Occasional series of the FRBSF Economic Letter

China’s Exchange Rate Policies and U.S. Financial Markets


Thomas M. Mertens and Patrick Shultz | October 2, 2017

Exchange rate stabilization or currency “pegs” are among the most prevalent interventions in international financial markets. Removing a peg to a safer currency can make the home currency more risky and less attractive to investors. When a country with market influence removes its peg from a safer country, the risk associated with holding either currency can be affected. Analyzing the effects of a scenario that changes a peg of the renminbi from the U.S. dollar to a basket of currencies suggests that China’s interest rates increase while U.S. interest rates decrease.

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Working Papers

Optimal Capital Account Liberalization in China

Working Paper 2018-10

Liu • Spiegel • Zhang | August 2018

China maintains tight controls over its capital account. Its prevailing regime also features financial repression, under which banks are often required to extend a fraction of funds to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at below-market interest rates. We incorporate these features into a general equilibrium model. We find that capital account liberalization under financial repression incurs a tradeoff between aggregate productivity and intertemporal allocative efficiency. Along a transition path with a declining SOE share, the second-best policy calls for a rapid removal of financial repression, but gradual liberalization of the capital account.

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