Currency Wars, Coordination, and Capital Controls

Working Paper
16-9
July 2016

The strong monetary policy actions undertaken by advanced economies' central banks have led to complaints of "currency wars" by some emerging-market economies and to widespread demands for more macroeconomic policy coordination. This paper reviews cross-border effects of advanced economies' monetary policies on emerging economies, through goods markets, foreign exchange markets, and financial markets, and examines the scope for coordination. Blanchard concludes that, while advanced economies' monetary policies indeed have had substantial spillover effects on emerging-market economies, there was and still is little room for coordination. He argues that, given the limits on fiscal policy, restrictions on capital flows (i.e., capital controls) were and still are the appropriate macroeconomic instrument to advance the objectives of both macro and financial stability.