Staff Reports

Risk Appetite and Exchange Rates

Previous title: “Global Liquidity and Exchange Rates”
January 2009Number 361
Revised May 2010
JEL classification: F30, F31, G12, G24

Authors: Tobias Adrian, Erkko Etula, and Hyun Song Shin

We present evidence that the funding liquidity aggregates of U.S. financial intermediaries forecast U.S. dollar exchange rate growth—at weekly, monthly, and quarterly horizons, both in-sample and out-of-sample, and against a large set of foreign currencies. We provide a theoretical foundation for a funding liquidity channel in a simple asset pricing model where the effective risk aversion of dollar-funded intermediaries fluctuates with the tightness of their risk constraints. We estimate prices of risk using a cross-sectional asset pricing approach and show that U.S. dollar funding liquidity forecasts exchange rates because of its association with time-varying risk premia. Our empirical evidence shows that this channel is separate from the more familiar “carry trade” channel.

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