The International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the fact that low interest rates in the U.S., plus an apparent “one-way” bet against the dollar has created a global dollar carry-trade that is driving capital flows into emerging markets.
If not handled properly, this will lead to emerging market asset bubbles, which arguably have already begun to inflate.
We’ve highlighted before how places like Hong Kong are seeing property prices go through the roof due to low U.S. interest rates.
The fact that the IMF is increasingly vocal on the subject suggests that this process is really starting to become quite substantial phenomenon in many countries.
IMF: There are indications that the U.S. dollar is now serving as the funding currency for carry trades. These trades may be contributing to upward pressure on the euro and some emerging economy currencies. Emerging economy authorities have been responding to capital inflows by accumulating reserves, and, in some cases, with capital controls and other measures, to slow the pace of appreciation. Capital flows driven by yield differentials are complicating monetary policy responses in those economies where there may be a need to tighten—particularly in Asia.
Some emerging economies may need to absorb capital inflows and at the same time avoid compromising domestic financial and price stability. With interest rates in advanced economies set to remain low for an extended period, and emerging economies poised to recover at a faster pace, the recent flow of capital into these economies may continue.