This note explains the value of strategic foresight and provides implementation advice based on the IMF’s experience with scenario planning and policy gaming. Section II provides an overview of strategic foresight and some of its tools. Scenario planning and policy gaming have been the Fund’s main foresight techniques so far, though other tools have been complementary. Accordingly, section III focuses on the scenario planning by illustrating applications before detailing the methods we have been using, while section IV describes policy gaming including the matrix policy gaming approach with which we have experimented so far. Section V summarizes the key points. In so doing, the note extends an invitation to those in the economics and finance fields (e.g., researchers, policymakers) to incorporate strategic foresight in their analysis and decision making.
The yen is an important barometer for the Japanese economy. Depreciations are typically associated with favorable economic developments such as increased corporate profits, rising equity prices, and upward pressure on domestic consumer prices. On the other hand, large and sharp appreciations run the risk of lowering actual and expected inflation, squeezing corporate profits, generating a negative wealth effect through depressed equity prices, and reducing confidence in the Bank of Japan’s efforts to reflate the domestic economy and achieve the inflation target. This paper takes a closer look at underlying drivers of rapid yen appreciations, highlighting the key role of carry-trade and the zero lower bound as important amplifiers.
This paper studies the relative effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention in spot and derivatives markets. We make use of Brazilian data where spot and non-deliverable futures based intervention have been used in tandem for more than a decade. The analysis finds evidence in favor of a significant link between both modes of intervention and the first two moments of the real/dollar exchange rate. As predicted by theory for the case of negligible convertibility risk, the impact of spot market intervention in our baseline sample is strikingly similar to that achieved through futures based intervention worth an equivalent amount in notional principal.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper assesses the importance of financial market developments for the business cycle in Brazil. The results underscore the importance of macro-financial linkages and highlight risks to the recovery going forward. Although some of the rise in credit growth in Brazil can be attributed to financial deepening and rising income levels, it may have implications for economic activity going forward. Cross-country evidence suggests that periods of easy financial conditions can amplify economic fluctuations and possibly lead to adverse economic outcomes. To explore the nexus between the financial cycle and business cycle, cycles are estimated using a variety of commonly-used statistical methods and with a small, semi-structural model of the Brazilian economy. An advantage of using the model-based approach is that financial and business cycles can be jointly estimated, allowing information from all key economic relationships to be used in a consistent way. Financial sector developments are found to be an important source of macroeconomic fluctuations. Financial accelerator models highlight the role of credit and asset prices in shaping the business cycle.
How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.
We examine the effects of unconventional monetary policy (UMP) events in the United States on asset price risk using risk-neutral density functions estimated from options prices. Based on an event study including a key exchange rate, an equity index, and five commodities, we find that “tail risk” diminishes in the immediate aftermath of UMP events, particularly downside left tail risk. We also find that QE1 and QE3 had stronger effects than QE2. We conclude that UMP events that serve to ease policies can help to bolster market confidence in times of high uncertainty.
Mr. Alessandro Rebucci, Mr. Akito Matsumoto, Pietro Cova, and Massimiliano Pisani
We study equity price volatility in general equilibrium with news shocks about future productivity and monetary policy. As West (1988) shows, in a partial equilibrium present discounted value model, news about the future cash flow reduces asset price volatility. We show that introducing news shocks in a canonical dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model may not reduce asset price volatility under plausible parameter assumptions. This is because, in general equilibrium, the asset cash flow itself may be affected by the introduction of news shocks. In addition, we show that neglecting to account for policy news shocks (e.g., policy announcements) can potentially bias empirical estimates of the impact of monetary policy shocks on asset prices.
This paper examines the role of the derivatives market in South Africa and provides policy options for promoting the development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa's derivatives market has grown rapidly in recent years, supporting capital inflows and helping market participants to price, unbundle and transfer risk. There are tight regulations on asset allocations by insurance and pension funds to prevent excessive risk taking. The development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan African countries could enable market participants to self-insure against volatile capital flows. Theiroverdependence on bank credit as a source of funding could be reduced and their management of seasonal risk could be improved through the introduction of commodity futures. However, these markets must be appropriately regulated and supervised. Since such markets would likely be small, consideration should be given to the establishment of a regional derivatives market.
This Selected Issues paper examines a number of potential factors that may have influenced the short-term behavior of the exchange rate between the Chilean peso and the U.S. dollar during the period of floating exchange rate, including the possible impact of developments in Argentina during 2001. The paper investigates whether copper prices can be successfully forecasted over medium-term horizons, emphasizing the properties of copper prices most relevant in the Chilean context, including for fiscal policymaking. The paper also provides a snapshot of the Chilean banking and corporate sectors.