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固定和浮動匯率制度:Fixed and Floating Exchange Rate Systems

時間:2014-03-31 10:05來源:www.2279035.live 作者:yangcheng 點擊:
本文是一篇加拿大留學生的金融小essay,主要是對浮動匯率體系的優缺點做出了分析,貨幣和財政政策,預算狀況,國際政策,條件和發展比較世界形勢和主導國家的影響力,貨幣的購買力,以
Introduction引言

匯率是指一種貨幣交換另一種的速度。這個比率不同于國家而取決于許多經濟變量,這主要是因為該國經濟的總體平衡和失衡的經濟水準,貨幣和財政政策,預算狀況,國際政策,條件和發展比較世界形勢和主導國家的影響力,貨幣的購買力,以及其他內部和外部因素等等。
An exchange rate is the rate at which one currency is exchanged on another one. This rate differs from country to country and depends on many economical variables, the main of which are the general balance and disbalance of economy, monetary and fiscal policy, the state of the budget, international policy, the condition and development of the country’s economy compared to the world situation and dominating countries, purchasing power of the currency, and other internal and external factors.

世界匯率制度的歷史告訴我們,國際社會(其大部分)實際上已經從固定匯率制轉向浮動匯率制度。目前存在的浮動和固定匯率制度的不同組合,再加上特定的經濟手段,對匯率給予調節。
The history of world exchange rate systems shows us that the world community (in its majority) has in fact shifted from the system of fixed exchange rates to floating exchange rate system. Currently there exist different combinations of floating and fixed exchange rate systems, together with specific economical instruments, created for exchange rate regulating.
 
This essay is aimed to describing the existing exchange rate systems, their impact on local and international economy and analysis of pros and cons of each system. This essay also contains an attempt to show the examples of exchange rate management in different countries, and analyze their consequences; the return effects of exchange rate management on the condition of major economical variables have also been regarded and a conclusion basing on all the above-listed material has been made.
 
1. History of exchange rate systems匯率制度的歷史
 
Since the development of production and a number of divisions of labor there existed such a phenomenon as commodity money. There was no other monetary system until 17th century when there appeared coins having an intrinsic value, not linked with commodity. Usually the value of the coin was associated with the content of gold in the coin. The exchange rate between different coins and different currencies depended on the content of gold in the coin as well, and equaled to the relative content of gold in the coins.
 
In 17th century banks started issuing own banknotes which had the same purchasing power as coins and were backed by precious metals in the banks. People could convert these banknotes into precious metals if they wished so. It is important to note that this backing was not 100%.
 
With the development of this system (the so-called fractional reserve banking) and with the development of international relations the idea of the gold standard appeared. In 1870 major countries had an agreement to base their exchange rates on the gold standard: the amount of gold which was backed for the banknote by the bank. Therefore the exchange rates between different countries equaled to the ratio of gold content linked with the currencies. This system existed until 1913, and, as we can see, represented the fixed exchange rate idea (since the gold content of each currency was fixed).
 
None of the countries offered 100% backing for their currency, and therefore the demand and purchasing power of a particular currency depended on the credibility of the currency; the countries with weaker or slower economical development had less credible currencies. The problems started to appear after World War I, when most of the countries were trying to improve their economical condition after the war and were undertaking speculative attacks, to increase the purchasing power of their currency and to decrease the purchasing power of other countries. Naturally, the economies of the countries with less credible currencies have been affected by such attacks, and the state of these economies has worsened. This situation has shown one of the weaknesses of fixed exchange rate system.
 
With the development of financial and banking system the backing of currencies has shifted from gold standard to backing by government debt instruments, such as treasury bills etc. Since the currencies progressively less depended on the gold content, the main variable that defined the purchasing power of a currency was the credibility of it. Economical fluctuations and crisis specified the instability in currency exchange rates. Until World War II the world community has undertaken attempts to return to the gold standard, but they were not very successful because of the changed economical conditions [7, p.12].
 
After World War II the major countries adopted the Bretton-Woods system, which continued the policy of fixed exchange rates, but offered a shift from the inefficient gold standard to the so-called gold exchange standard. The exchange rates were fixed compared not to gold, but to the US dollar; the US dollar, in its turn, was linked by a specific exchange rate with gold. The change of exchange rates (either devaluation or evaluation) was allowed only in extreme cases. This system strengthened the position of the US as a dominating economy, and affected the exchange rates of countries with weaker economies.
 
As an attempt to solve this disbalance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been created. The countries with weaker economies were given loans on specific conditions to improve their economical state. Nevertheless, the huge gap between the stability and level of exchange rates of dominating countries and the exchange rates of other countries proved that the existing exchange rate system needed to be improved.
 
The main controversy between exchange rates and domestic policies is that, on one hand, fixed exchange rates offer relative stability and better conditions for local and international trade conditions; the enterprisers could easily predict the rates and plan their work according to this. On the other hand, to eliminate instability and stimulate economical growth, it is required that currencies could be exchanged without any restrictions [7, p.50]. And the last condition that is necessary for sound economical development is that governments have to conduct monetary and fiscal policies without any restrictions in order to be able to cope with appearing crises, reduce such factors and unemployment and inflation etc.
 
Unfortunately these three conditions cannot be reached within the terms of one economical system; one of them is always not compatible with the other two conditions. For example, if the state chooses free and unlimited currency conversion and fixed exchange rate policy, it is then unable to provide domestic interventions in order to control appearing economical disbalances and becomes very vulnerable to outer economical interventions and speculative attacks. If the state provides strong domestic policy and controls the appearing economical troubles such as inflation and unemployment, and at the same time offers free and unrestricted conversion of currencies, it will be unable to keep the exchange rate on a desired level because the changing demand for the currency and changing economical conditions will require to devalue or revalue the national currency. And finally, if the state chooses to have strong domestic policy and fixed exchange rates in order to reach economical stability, it will have to limit the amount of converted currencies to preserve the exchange rate in the proper scope.
 
Depending on these three main factors, three main exchange rate systems have appeared: fixed exchange rate system, floating (or flexible) exchange rate system, and managed exchange rate system which combined both above-listed systems.
 
Let us now return to historical development of exchange rate systems. The Bretton-Woods system existed until 1973. In 1971 there was an attack on the US dollar which made it significantly overvalued against other currencies; but the US government did not try to protect the dollar value, and therefore the floating of dollar exchange rate started. There was an attempt to return back to fixed rate system in 1973, but it didn’t have any significant effect and as other currencies were strongly linked to dollar value, the world exchange rate system gradually shifted from fixed exchange rate to floating exchange rate.
 
The attitude to this shift is different in different parts of the world, and it specified the emergence of three distinct types of exchange rate systems (they were listed above) and different combinations of these types.
 
It is historically conditioned that the US supports the idea of self-adjusting market; therefore the US government mostly supports floating exchange rate system. The European community has mostly provided the policies of regulating their economy and intervening into market mechanism; therefore countries of these region have hosen the direction towards a fixed exchange rate system and finally, towards a common currency in 1999.
 
The European Monetary System (EMS) has been created in 1979; it included 15 countries of Europe and offered the fixation of exchange rates of one currency compared to another one; the rates for the pairs of currencies differed which allowed more flexibility than simply fixing exchange rates. This system also allowed the change of the exchange rate in certain situations; for weaker countries the fluctuation barrier has been made wider than for dominating countries [3, p. 42]. As a development of this system, euro has been created; in 1999 all currencies have been fixed against euro and finally in 2002 all currencies were replaced by euro.


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