The renminbi bloc is here: Asia down, the rest of the world to go?
A few points worth reading when it comes to China and its currency. Via Voxeu.
As China becomes ever more important in the global economy, will its currency take on an international role? This column argues that in some sense, this is already happening – an increasing number of emerging-market currencies seem to track (co-move with) the renminbi – and the trend is set to continue.
The staggering economic rise of China in the last three decades leads to the question of the potential internationalisation of its currency, the renminbi (RMB). Internationalisation has different dimensions. An international currency is widely used in financial and trade transactions, and crucially it is used as a store of value. Some, like Eichengreen (2011) and Frankel (2011) see a potential global role for the RMB, provided important ancillary reforms to the domestic financial system and to the financial account first take place. In Eclipse, one of us projected that such a shift might happen in less than two decades (Subramanian 2011).
But there is a third dimension to an international currency: it serves as a unit of account or as a reference point for other currencies. We define a reference currency as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement with other currencies. This co-movement could reflect either pegging choices by the government or be driven by market forces. In a new paper (Subramanian and Kessler 2012), we measure the co-movements of the US dollar, the euro, the RMB and the Japanese yen for a sample of 52 emerging market economies. We do that by following a methodology first applied by Frankel and Wei (1994): running a regression of each emerging market currency exchange rate (against the Swiss franc – which plays the role of a neutral numeraire) on this basket of four currencies (also against the Swiss franc). The coefficients on each of the major currencies are called “comovement coefficients” (CMCs), and measure the extent to which exchange rates movements are correlated with the four benchmark currencies.
Full read here.