A talk of mine with Dukascopy Swiss Financial TV, on the outlook for the BRICS countries in 2014. Conducted on the way back from the Gaidar Forum in a taxi during a snowstorm. Gotta love being a pundit.
A friend of mine and co-habitating visiting researcher at BOFIT, Vikas Kakkar, has just released some of the work he was doing at BOFIT at the same time as me. Entitled, "Determinants of real exchange rates: An Empirical Investigation," it looks at the reasons for persistent gaps in nominal exchange rates.
I mention this paper because it's central to his work, but as I mentioned to Mrs. Institutional Economist last night, exchange rates and their determination is probably one of the most technical, least-useful, and unbelievably mind-numbingly boring facets of economics. Just the mention of any aspect of exchange rates causes, in the words of PJ O'Rourke, MEGO: my eyes glaze over.
This doesn't mean that exchange rates aren't important, though. As the ever-astute Mrs. Institutional Economist also noted, movements in the ruble/USD exchange rates have been so terrible of late, that I am actually losing $36,000 off my promised, nominal US salary. If someone could publish a paper to make my employer care about this loss, then THAT would be a contribution to the literature.
And for those of you about to conference (specifically, the ASSA meetings in Philadelphia, January 3-5), we salute you! And if you're actually in town, I'm at the Association for Comparative Economic Studies (ACES) Poster Session on Friday morning at 10:15AM (Philadelphia Marriott, Grand Ballroom - Salon A) and also discussing a paper on Sunday at 10:15AM with some of my compatriots from the Bank of Finland. Hope to see you there!
Dr. Christopher Hartwell is an institutional economist and President of CASE Warsaw. All commentary on this page is exclusively his own and in no way represents the views of CASE, his wife, his dog, or anyone else. Especially not his wife or his dog.