Capital Controls: The Policy Pendulum Just Keeps Swinging

By Kavaljit Singh | Policy Brief # 3 | April 5, 2019

Contrary to popular perception, both the developed and the developing countries have extensively used a variety of capital controls to restrict and regulate the cross-border movement of capital. Although the types of capital controls and their implementation varied from country to country, it would be difficult to find any country in the world that had not used these at some point or the other.

Modern capital controls in the form of taxes on the purchase of foreign assets came into existence in World War I as governments introduced special taxes…

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Why the US Needs a Financial Transaction Tax

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 24 | March 23, 2019

The financial transaction tax is an issue that never goes away from the public agenda completely. It keeps coming back to the policy and political discussions in different forms across the world. Currently, the idea of a financial transaction tax (FTT) is gaining in popularity within the Democratic Party of the United States as a policy tool to curb excessive speculation and high-frequency trading that destabilizes markets; and to generate a significant amount of revenue to finance social programs such as free college tuition.

On March 5, Democrats in both…

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Why Capital Controls Are Important?

By Kavaljit Singh | Policy Brief # 2 | January 10, 2019

The massive surge in capital inflows to emerging market economies (EMEs) following the 2008 global financial crisis has reignited the debate on the pros and cons of international capital mobility. While free movement of capital across borders can reduce the cost of capital, enable investments and allow investors to diversify their portfolio, it can also pose significant systemic risks in the recipient country with negative consequences for growth and development.

Large capital inflows in excess of domestic absorption capacity could result in rapid exchange rate appreciation, making exports more expensive…

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What Are Capital Controls?

By Kavaljit Singh | Policy Brief # 1 | January 2, 2019

Capital controls are back in fashion. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, there is a renewed interest in capital controls as useful policy tools to prevent or mitigate financial crises. It is increasingly being acknowledged in policy circles that capital controls could insulate the domestic economy from volatile capital flows, due to the limited effectiveness of other policy measures (such as sterilization of capital flows and accumulation of foreign reserves). As many complexities are surrounding the issue of capital controls, the first policy brief explains what…

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How to Prevent Financial Crises in Emerging Markets?

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 23 | September 4, 2018

Argentina’s currency crisis is deepening. On August 29, the peso crashed more than 7 percent – the biggest one-day fall since December 2015 when President Mauricio Macri allowed the currency to float freely and removed capital controls. In a two-minute televised address on that day, Mr Macri said he had requested the International Monetary Fund to early release funds from a $50 billion stand-by arrangement. The televised address by President Macri did not help to eliminate market uncertainty. Instead, it made investors more jittery than ever, pushing the…

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