DP2565 On the Fundamentals of Self-Fulfilling Speculative Attacks

Author(s): Craig Burnside, Martin Eichenbaum, Sérgio Rebelo
Publication Date: September 2000
Keyword(s): Fixed Exchange Rate Regimes, Government Guarantees, Hedging, Speculative Attacks
JEL(s): F31, F41, G15, G21
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2565

This paper proposes a theory of twin banking-currency crises in which both fundamentals and self-fulfilling beliefs play crucial roles. Fundamentals determine whether crises will occur. Self-fulfilling beliefs determine when they occur. The fundamental that causes ?twin crises? is government guarantees to domestic banks' foreign creditors. When these guarantees are in place twin crises inevitably occur, but their timing is a multiple equilibrium phenomenon that depends on agents' beliefs. So while self-fulfilling beliefs have an important role to play, twin crises do not happen just anywhere. They happen in countries where there are fundamental problems, such as guarantees to the financial sector.