Globalization of Capital Movements: Potential Disadvantages and their efect on Israel
This study examines a number of brief models that demonstrate potential disadvantages in the process of globalization of capital movements. Using Israeli data, we examine the extent to which Israel suffers from these disadvantages. One disadvantage is related to the transfer of negative shocks between countries by means of capital movements, when these result solely from diversification of the asset portfolio among several economies. The second disadvantage involves the currency exposure that could arise due to the utilization of foreign currency loans for financing income-earning projects in the local currency. The third disadvantage is related to the risk inherent in shortening the period of debt contracts, which could be accompanied by foreign investors’ entry to the local economy. The conclusion arising from the empirical analysis is that alongside the advantages involved, Israel does indeed suffer from at least part of the negative aspects of the globalization process:
(1) The correlation between capital movements to the economy and capital movements to the emerging markets since 1995 is creating a pass-through mechanism for the import of shocks from abroad to Israel. This mechanism was apparent at the time of the currency crises during the years 1997 and 1998.
(2) The proportion of foreign currency credit to total and restricted credit, in exports and GDP, increased during the second half of the 1990’s without borrowers purchasing suitable hedging instruments against depreciation.
(3) However, foreign currency credit was usually a replacement for shekel credit, which is mostly short-term. From this aspect therefore, liberalization processes and globalization did not create a new problem.