November 27, 2021


Only The Finest Women

Dollar dominance and the international adjustment to global risk

The US and the greenback engage in a exclusive position in the world-wide economy, equally for trade and for money flows (Rey 2013, Maggiori et al. 2018, Gopinath 2020). The dollar’s dominance also manifests itself in situations of elevated international risk. Figure 1 illustrates this for the International Financial Crisis and the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In the two cases, worldwide hazard, measured by the VIX, raises sharply while the greenback appreciates strongly. At a theoretical level, co-motion between the dollar and measures of global danger can be rationalized on the floor that some US assets are significantly harmless and/or liquid (Farhi and Gabaix 2016, Bianchi et al. 2021, Jiang et al. 2021a). But what are the repercussions of the dollar’s dominance for the international adjustment to world wide risk shocks? Does the dollar appreciation dampen or amplify their adverse consequences on the worldwide overall economy?

Figure 1 The US dollar trade price and the VIX

Notes: VIX is an index of predicted inventory market place volatility compiled by Chicago Board of Selections Exchange dollar trade price is the selling price of greenback expressed in overseas forex (in efficient terms) such that an raise signifies an appreciation.

Global adjustment to global hazard shocks

In a new paper, we shed mild on this query as we identify world threat shocks and trace out their influence on the world-wide economic system, with a concentration on the greenback (Georgiadis et al. 2021). World-wide threat shocks are incidents that are associated with an increase in the demand for safe and liquid assets. We measure their result on the world financial state in an estimated Bayesian proxy structural VAR design. We recognize global chance shocks applying intra-daily changes in the value of gold – the best risk-free asset – as recorded on narratively picked dates related to world threat gatherings as an exterior instrument (Piffer and Podstawski 2018, Engel and Wu 2018, Ludvigson et al. 2021).

We find that while international hazard shocks result in a contraction of economic action that is highly synchronised in the US and the rest of the world, they lead to a solid appreciation of the dollar. We also document that international risk shocks induce flight-to-security results as international holdings of US Treasury securities raise, an uptick in the US Treasury high quality, an raise in the greenback liquidity buffers of banking companies, and an enhance in the share of greenback-denominated international personal debt issuance. 

What if the greenback didn’t respect?

We then examine how the dollar styles the transmission of world-wide danger shocks, especially the contraction of financial activity outdoors of the US. In theory, the influence of greenback appreciation is ambiguous. On the just one hand, appreciation of the dollar dampens the adverse influence of world wide risk shocks in the relaxation of the globe by means of a trade channel, as it induces expenditure switching from the US in the direction of the relaxation of the environment (Obstfeld and Rogoff 1995, Gopinath et al. 2020). On the other hand, dollar appreciation may possibly amplify the adverse effects of global hazard shocks in the rest of the earth via a fiscal channel, as it deteriorates the internet worthy of of borrowers that are subject matter to currency mismatches and thus induces a tightening in world-wide fiscal circumstances (Bruno and Shin 2015, Jiang et al. 2021a). Without a doubt, we come across that worldwide risk shocks that respect the dollar are followed by a decline in US internet exports and a wide-based tightening in world wide money disorders reflected, in unique, in a contraction in cross-border financial institution credit rating. But this doesn’t convey to us no matter whether the greenback appreciation overall dampens or amplifies the results of world wide threat shocks outside of the US.

We hence established up a counterfactual in which we simulate the results of a global danger shock that would materialise in the absence of a dollar appreciation. Formally, we follow a minimal relative entropy (MRE) method to assemble the counterfactual: we use the posterior distribution acquired from the Bayesian estimation to determine a counterfactual in which (a) the dollar does not reply to global chance shocks, but which (b) is if not as very similar as probable to the model generating the information. By evaluating the genuine to the counterfactual final result, we can evaluate the dollar’s total contribution to the worldwide transmission of worldwide hazard shocks.

Determine 2 demonstrates the effects. The blue traces represent the estimates for the baseline product which attributes dollar appreciation (upper-still left panel). The red lines with circles clearly show the adjustment to worldwide danger shocks when there is no dollar appreciation (i.e. the counterfactual). We come across that the contraction in the relaxation of the globe is roughly halved in the counterfactual. The higher-center and higher-right panels reveals the reaction of industrial production in the US and in the rest of the globe (RoW), respectively. The base panels exhibit that in the counterfactual US internet exports and (specifically dollar-denominated) cross-border lender credit score flows to non-US debtors agreement considerably less in reaction to the worldwide possibility shock. All else equal, the initially outcome amplifies the slowdown of financial action in the rest of the entire world, though the 2nd effect dampens it. Consequently, given that the contraction is lesser in the absence of greenback appreciation, we conclude that the money channel dominates the trade channel – overall, greenback appreciation amplifies the adverse effects of global hazard shocks. 

Figure 2 Consequences of a world chance shock with and devoid of dollar appreciation

Notice: Horizontal axis measures time in months, vertical axis steps deviation from pre-shock amount dimension of shock is a person conventional deviation blue sound line signifies stage-sensible posterior signify and shaded places 68%/90% equal-tailed, stage-sensible credible sets. Crimson circled line depicts level-smart indicates of the counterfactual posterior distribution received from the MRE solution.

US monetary policy 

Our examination of the special function of the greenback for the transmission of worldwide danger also sheds light-weight on the developments in world economical marketplaces throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, notably on the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) unparalleled liquidity guidance to emerging economies. In theory, Fed swap lines give risk-free belongings by crediting rest-of-the-globe central financial institutions with greenback reserves. To the extent that this cuts down the Treasury comfort yield this, in convert, will dampen appreciation pressures on the dollar (Jiang et al. 2021a, b). And Figure 1 over indeed indicates that the appreciation of the greenback in early 2020 was fairly brief lived – if benchmarked in opposition to our estimates of the regular outcome of a worldwide chance shock (as revealed in Determine 2).

We therefore take a look at no matter whether stabilisation of the dollar that resulted as a facet outcome of the Fed’s unexpected emergency liquidity provision may have served to prevent an even a lot more pronounced slowdown of the world financial system. Specifically, in our time-sequence framework, we use a sequence of recognized monetary policy shocks that correctly stabilizes the dollar in the confront of a world-wide danger shock. Of study course, this exercise ought to be recognized only as an approximation to the much more sophisticated truth of the Fed’s interventions. Reliable with the remarkable character of the crisis liquidity provision by the Fed, Figure 3 demonstrates that in order to stabilise the greenback, US monetary coverage is loosened substantially extra compared to what is noticed in ordinary moments (see the reaction of the 1-12 months Treasury monthly bill level in the still left panel of Figure 3). Crucially, in this counterfactual, financial exercise outside the house of the US slows much less (proper panel of Figure 3). This suggests that without the need of the Fed’s crisis liquidity provision in early 2020 the slowdown of the entire world financial system would have without a doubt been significantly a lot more pronounced, in line with arguments put forward somewhere else (Cetorelli et al. 2020). 

Figure 3 Baseline and structural shock counterfactual responses to a world-wide chance shock dependent on US financial policy shocks as offsetting shocks


Observe: See the be aware to Figure 2. 1Y-TB suggests the 1-yr Treasury invoice price.


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Jiang, Z, A Krishnamurthy, and H Lustig (2021b), “Foreign secure asset demand from customers and the dollar trade rate”, Journal of Finance 76(3): 1049-1089.

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