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http://www.info.gov.hk/hkma/eng/currency/link_ex/index.htm


The Linked Exchange Rate System was established in 1983. It is in essence a Currency Board system, which requires both the stock and the flow of the Monetary Base to be fully backed by foreign reserves. Any change in the size of the Monetary Base has to be fully matched by a corresponding change in the foreign reserves. In Hong Kong, the Monetary Base comprises the following components:

Certificates of Indebtedness (as backing for banknotes) and government-issued notes and coins;

the sum of balances of banks' clearing accounts (Aggregate Balance) maintained with the HKMA for the purpose of clearing and settling transactions between the banks themselves, and also between the banks and the HKMA; and

the outstanding amount of Exchange Fund Bills and Notes.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This sounds like what I once proposed Hungary's central bank should have been doing to prevent the possibility of a currency crisis, namely, accumulating foreign reserves in an amount matching the country's aggregate foreign-currency liabilities. This would act as an automatic negative feedback mechanism in case a carry trade got started.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the Hong-Kong currency board functions as a potential lender of last resort and a deposit insurer since it must hold enough foreign reserves to cover in full the aggregate liabilities of the private banks.

It also functions as a clearinghouse for interbank payment and settlement.

The role of the Fed is totally incidental here. They might as well have mandated that the HKMA must have enough gold reserves (or barrels of oil) to back all the banks' liabilities.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The role of the Fed is also not unique since the mandate is on "foreign reserves" not "dollar reserves". This means potentially the mandate could be fulfilled by matching KH's monetary mass not only in quantity but in kind - Euro liabilities matched by Euro reserves, dollar by dollar, etc. What makes the USD special is that the internal HK liabilities are matched by USD reserves, but this need not be so.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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