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Using a new database on the currency composition of assets and liabilities, this paper explores the determinants and consequences of currency mismatches in Chilean non-financial firms. As in previous firm level studies for Chile, we find that in periods following a depreciation firms with higher dollar debt do not underperform their peso counterparts. However, once we adequately control for differences in the currency composition of assets, income and net derivative positions, we do find a significant balance sheet effect. In addition, we find that derivatives play a role in insulating firm level investment from exchange rate shocks. In line with previous studies, we also find evidence of currency matching in Chilean corporates. Firms in Chile actively reduce the risks associated with exchange rate exposure by matching the currency composition of their debt with that of their income and assets, and by taking on derivatives if no "real" hedge is available. Finally, we find significant changes in the level of net currency exposure after the exchange rate was floated in 1999. We argue that one possible interpretation of these results is due to the effect of higher exchange rate variance on the relative risk of domestic and foreign debt.
Financial liberalization has not lived up to expectations, at least as far as interest rate spreads are concerned. Over the past decade, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have reformed their financial sectors and reaped major economic benefits as a result. However, the persistence of high interest rate spreads -the difference between the interest charged to borrowers and the rate p ... (View publication)
After decades using monetary aggregates as the main instrument of monetary policy and having different varieties of crawling peg exchange rate regimes, Colombia adopted a full-fledged inflation-targeting (IT) regime in 1999, with inflation as the nominal anchor, a floating exchange rate, and the short-term interest rate as the main instrument. This paper examines the experience of the Colombian Ce ... (View publication)
This paper shows, using probit analysis, that low national savings increase the risk of macroeconomic crisis. Foreign savings are a poor substitute of national savings not only for domestic investment (Feldstein-Horioka result), but also for stability. It is found that deeper financial integration does not cure low investment and can improve the situation only to the extent that the risks of t ... (View publication)
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