Cours 1

International Finance
Pr. Ariane Chapelle
site : http//
Contents of the Course
 Introduction : The International Financial Environment
 Part 1 : Fundamentals of International Finance (10 hrs)
Exchange rate determination
Purchasing power parity and interest parity relations
Exchange rate determination
Exchange rate management and targets
The case for flexible exchange rates
Exchange rate management : operation and problems
Monetary integration in the European Union
The IMF and the provision of finance
A critique of the IMF approach
International debt crisis
 Reference textbook - Part 1 : Gibson, H. International
Finance, Longman ed. ,1996.
Contents of the Course
 Part 2 : International Corporate Finance (12 hrs)
Foreign Exchange Exposure (2 hrs):
Transaction exposure
Operating exposure + decision case
Financing the Global Firm (2 hrs):
Sourcing equity globally
Financial structure and international debt
Foreign Investment Decision (4 hrs) :
FDI theory and strategy
Multinational capital budgeting
Adjusting for risk + decision case
Managing Multinational Operations (4 hrs)
International tax management
Repositioning funds
Working capital management + decision case
Contents of the Course
 Reference textbook - Part 2
Moffet, M., Stonehill, A. and Eiteman, D., Fundamentals of
Multinational Finance, Addison Wesley, 2003.
+ Web site:
OR : Eiteman, D., Stonehill, A. and M. Moffet, Multinational
Business Finance, 9th edition Addison Wesley, 2001.
+ Web site:
The international financial system
 Introduction
Different forms : fixed / floating rate / managed rates /
monetary unions
Questions of adjustment / liquidity / international money
« Impossible trinity » :
Exchange rate stability
Full financial integration (free capital flows)
Monetary independence
Is there a best system?
What design of institutions?
The international financial system
 Adjustment issue - reminder
Balance of payments (BOP) :
Y = C + I + G + X - M
Y = C + S + T
Combining (1) and (2) :
S + T = I + G + X - M
(X - M) = (S - I) + (T - G)
Current account deficit = Consumers deficit + State deficit
Current account deficit should be financed by borrowing
The international financial system
Adjustment issue - reminder
The deficit is not dependant of the exchange rate (in
In practice, however :
prices and wages are sticky
some regional shocks can create asymmetric disequilibrium
large players like government and financial insitutions
influence equilibrium
Problem of adjustments : central concern of government
-> need for design of institutions
The international financial system
International money
Caracteristics : International money should be :
inspire confidence
store of value
Summary issues / concerns of financial markets :
Adjustments of BOP
Provision of liquidity
-> 4 different systems address these 2 issues.
The international financial system
International Financial systems - 4 types :
Automatic mechanisms
Pure floating rates : between the two World Wars
Pure fixed exchange rates : gold period
(N-1) Systems
N countries linked to gold : a large country, its currency =
international money
N-1 countries linked to N = fixed exchange rate regime :
Bretton Woods
Policy coordination & Multilateral mechanisms : SME
Monetary union : EU
Automatic Mechanisms
Automatic mechanisms:
2 mechanisms can be defined as fully automatic :
freely floating exchange rate system
fully fixed commodity standard
Freely floating : no BOP problem : any disequilibirum leads
to automatic adjustment of exchange rates.
Automatic market mechanism of the demand / supply
market for foreign exhange.
Demand curve for foreign exchange (D) derives from the
desire of domestic residents to purchase foreign goods,
services and assets.
D is negativley related to exchange rate (S).
Automatic Mechanisms
Domestic price of
foreign exchange
Supply of foreign
Demand for
foreign exchange
Q of foreign exchange
S = X rate = amount of domestic currency per one unit of foreign
currency. Ex. €/$ = S for Europeans.
A depreciation of the domestic currency = a rise in S.
Ex. S0= 1, S1 = 0.9.
S1 : excess of demand= deficit of BOP (too many imports). A
depreciation makes foreign goods more expensive, and D
decreases to equilibirum.
Automatic Mechanisms
Automatic mechanisms:
Full floating rates :
liquidity in the system is unnecessary provided adjustment
occurs immediatly
international money is not explicitly specified; a few
currencies will be widely used as international means of
Fully fixed commodity standards
Main characteristics : fiduciary money is backed by a
particular commodity (ex. Gold)
The ratio of fiduciary money to the reserves of the
commodity is fixed, and the monetary authorities garantee
free convertibility.
Automatic Mechanisms
Fully fixed commodity standards
All countries set a fixed price between their national
currency and the commodity
All currencies are tied together -> exchange rates are fixed.
The international money is the commodity.
BOP disequilibira are eliminated by transfering the
commodity from the deficit country to the surplus country,
leading to :
• a contraction of the money supply in deficit country
• an expansion of the money supply in the surplus country
• leading to symmetrical adjustments
However, if the surplus country « sterilise » (do not expand
the money supply to prevent inflation), the system becomes
Automatic Mechanisms
Automatic mechanisms - in practice:
Fully fixed commodity standards : the Gold Standard : 1870
- 1914 + short period in the 1920 ’s
Pre-World War I : « classical gold standard »
Inter-War period : « managed gold standard »
Not worked as in theory : currencies more considered as
international money; manipulation of interest rates by central
banks, sterilisation policies ; positive correlation of prices and
wages accross countries, whereas the opposite was expected.
The gold standard did not bring the price stability expected.
Gold discoveries played a role in explaining price movements.
Adjustment in bank credit (1/3 of the money) helped smooth
monetary growth.
Automatic Mechanisms
Automatic mechanisms - in practice:
Full floating rates : the inter-war period
absences of co-operation and agreement on how the
international monetary system should be organised
desastrous consequences for the economies of individual
played a role in the depth and length of the 30 ’s crisis
3 rounds of vane tentatives to bring monetary coordination
number of competitive depreciations between US and UK.
The international financial system
Second type : (N-1) System
N countries
Nth country is linked to a commodity standard,
convertible at a fixed price.
All other currencies fixed to the Nth country
(N-1) exchange rates, fixed. Arbitrage occurs by buying
and reselling the commodity if the X rate moves.
How adjustment occurs?
No automatic adjustment, no connection between money
and the commodity.
In principle, unadjusted countries should increase or
decrease their money supply to get back to equilibrium.
(N-1) System
How adjustment occurs?
A deficit country (too many imports - too low foreign
currency) : should undertake a deflationary policy.
Problem : prices and wages are sticky.
A surplus country (too many exports - too high domestic
currency) : should reflate. Problem : less pressure for
adjustment. Tempted to build up their reserve of foreign
currencies and sterilise the impact by selling domestic
System that tends to create asymmetry.
No fixed ratio clearly defined between money supply and
the commodity.
No clear definition of the process deflation or reflation,
leaving great room for discretion.
(N-1) System
Nth country
Is in a special position, that creates and 2d asymmetry.
Does not intervene in the foreign exchange markets. The
(N-1) countries maintain their chosen X rate.
The BOP of the N countries should balance, so the Nth
country should accept whatever aggregate BOP the N-1
countries have.
The Nth country plays a key role in the provision of
international money and liquidity : its currency is the
international means of exchange.
It should be a large country, with a fairly closed economy.
The Nth currency should be acceptable as international
money : central Banks should be confident in its value.
(N-1) System - in practice
(N-1) System - in practice
Bretton Woods (1944 - 1971)
US as the most powerful nation after the War, keen to
ensure access to foreign markets for its goods.
Europe and Japan physically devastated, seeking access to
international credit.
Huge recycling problem of funds collected in the US, to
rebuild Europe and Japan.
Bretton Woods agreement (July 1944) negociated between
US and Europe (essentially UK).
UK representative : John Maynard Keynes.
US representative : Harry Dexter White.
(N-1) System - in practice
Bretton Woods (1944 - 1971)
Agreement on the need for greater fixity of exchange rates.
Disagreements over :
the question of financial flows
the problem of recycling
White proposal :
creation of a fund to help maintain BOP and encourage
international trade.
Aim : eliminate control on trade flows and restrictions on
foreign exchange transactions.
(N-1) System - in practice
Keynes ’ proposal :
creation of a recycling mechanism to allow deficit countries
to finance their development without the need to resort to
trade restrictions.
concerned about the risk of surplus countries to exert a
deflationary pressure on the world economy.
Proposed to create a international Clearing Union which
would receive funds from surplus countries, and would lend
them to deficit countries.
Recycling would be automatic and deflation avoided.
Final agreement was much closer to White ’s proposal.
(N-1) System - in practice
Bretton Woods : (N-1) system where the US is the Nth
country. Relies on five main principles :
1. X rate could fluctuate by max. 1%, and be reajusted only
in case of « fundamental disequilibrium »
2. Pool of currencies contributed by members countries to
help deficit countries funding their temporary disequilibrium,
in a regime of fixed X rates.
Institution set up to administer the pool : the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). Quota of members represent drawing
rights, only for short periods of time. Too small in practice.
3. The trading system should be open. Principle of free
trade. Desire to dismantle protectionism and restore
convertibility, at least for trade reasons.
(N-1) System - in practice
Bretton Woods - five main principles :
Set up of the GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs)
to organise the dismantling of tariffs.
Set up of IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development) to promote investment and development in the
poorest countries.
4. Disequilibria of BOP was supposed to be the responsability
of both the deficit and the surplus countries, in a system
tending to produce asymmetry.
Pressure on surplus countries by the scarce currency clause
(Keynes idea). The IMF declares a currency scarce, restricting
access to it, making more difficult for other countries to
purchase exports from the surplus country.
(N-1) System - in practice
Bretton Woods - five main principles :
5. Design and set-up of institutions to support the exchange
rate organisation : IMF, IBRD, GATT.
Bretton Woods - two periods
1945 - 1959 : reconstruction
Setup of the Marshall Paln : US gave $4-$5 billions a year to
European countries between 1948 - 1951.
Set-up of the European Paiement Union (EPU) to organise
trade witihin Europe and gradually restore convertibility.
(N-1) System - in practice
1959 - 1971 : Bretton-Woods into action
End of the EPU and convertibility restored.
Achievements : stability of exchanges rates, availability of
foreign exchange for current transactions, rapid growth of
trade, marcoeconomic stability.
Problems gradually occurred in the adjustement proces :
speed of adjustment insufficient, and asymmetrical.
Adjustment via deflation or reflation, but countries reluctant to
adjust, in particular for reflation (surplus countries), sterilising
to contain inflationnary pressures.
Prices stickiness downward, but flexibility upwards.
In the 1960 ’s : increasing deficit in the US, UK and France.
Surplus in Switzerland and Germany.
Growing loss of confidence in the $, likely to be devalued.25
The international financial system
Third type : Policy co-ordination
This category : all the attempts to co-ordinate policy
and manage exchange rates.
In a « managed international monetary system » :
choice of exchange rate regimes.
This choice has important implications both on the
adjustment process and on the degree of policy coordination required.
2 sources of BOP disequilibria :
Exogenous shocks : if they are asymmetric (ex. Rise in
oil prices : deficit for importing, surplus for exporting
countries) -> large BOP disquelibria to adjust.
Policy co-ordination
2 sources of BOP disequilibria :
Incompatible policies pursued by individual countries. Ex.:
a number of countries pursuing a deflationary policy to
reduce inflation, will end up running a surplus, and create
deficit of trade balance in countries trying to expand their
In theory :
The more flexible the exchange rate, the more easily
countries can adjust to asymmetric shocks and the greater
is the opportunity for countries to pursue their own
policies. Automatic adjustments through floating rates.
However, need for policy co-ordination since adjustements
are imperfect. Need for international liquidity to help
smooth the process and finance the disequelibria.
See further.
Policy co-ordination - in practice
Managed float 1971 - present
Smithsonian agreement : 1971 - 1973 : after Bretton
Woods, attempt to peg European currencies to the dollar,
with +/- 2.25% movements.
After 1973 : managed float for major currencies : $, Yen,
Co-operative arrangements under the European
Monetary System.
However, still highly volatile exchange rates over this
period, both nominal and real.
Floating exchange rates did not appear to solve the
adjustment issue, with persistent large surplus of Japan
and Germany, and large deficits of the US.
The international financial system
Fourth type : Monetary union
Individual currencies eliminated : common currency
The union currency is the international money.
BOP disequilibria no longer exist (in their usual form) :
BOP problems become regional problems.
See further.
Full Capital Controls
Pure float
Exchange rate
Full Financial
Monetary Union