Central Banking in Developing Countries: Objectives, by Alvaro Almeida

By Alvaro Almeida

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To estimate the future expected level of such real variables, we have to use our best point estimate of future inflation. Hence both the coefficient of variation and standard deviation of such real variables will be a positive function of the standard deviation (but not of the coefficient of variation) of inflation. The correlations shown in this paragraph were all estimated excluding Argentina whose extraordinary average inflation rate makes it an extreme outlier. If Argentinian data are included, all the correlations rise, with the exception of those between the variability in inflation and the variability in both nominal and real exchange rates.

Hence, this chapter focuses on the fiscal or implicit tax use of such instruments. Governments generally expect to benefit financially from the monopoly privilege over fiat money that they grant to their central banks. Revenue raising activities of central banks have included the collection of seigniorage by issuing currency and imposing reserve requirements, demonetising currency notes of THE CENTRAL BANK AND THE GOVERNMENT 27 particular denominations, forcing unfavourable conversions of old for new currency after a currency reform, setting interest rate ceilings on financial assets that compete with government bonds, requiring import predeposits, administering multiple exchange rate systems in which exporters are obliged to sell their foreign exchange earnings to the central bank at lower prices than some importers can buy foreign exchange from the central bank, as well as collecting miscellaneous fees (Robinson and Stella 1988, 22–23).

In recent years Argentina and Chile have shown remarkable progress in reducing inflation, as a result of political and economic reforms. Unfortunately, a similar improvement in Mexico was set back by the recent crisis. Nevertheless the inflationary experiences of the BoE group have been, at best, patchy. 4 CPI inflation and M1 growth rates bear a considerable share of the responsibility for this state of affairs. Yet, as already noted, most of the BoE group had a statutory requirement to maintain the value of the currency.

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