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Working as an architect in the 1990’s, Tania Reif saw first hand the devastating impact on local communities of the currency crisis events that occurred with some frequency in her home country of Venezuela. Gripped by the field of macroeconomics, Tania ultimately earned a PhD in economics from Columbia University, writing her dissertation on currency crises. Our conversation brings to life Tania’s framework for the “why” of FX crisis events. In this context, she shares her assessment of the multiple crisis events in the 1990’s, contrasting this today’s more stable emerging market FX environment. Pointing to fixed exchange rate regimes, Tania describes the vulnerability that comes from a sudden stop of external financing after a period of excessively loose monetary policy. The result, a balance of payments crisis that leads to a large currency depreciation and inflation shock. We also discuss financial contagion and Tania makes the point that when countries have parallel risks, an event in one country can have implications for regions that investors deem similarly vulnerable. Unsurprisingly, amidst our discussion on foreign exchange dynamics, we also discuss today’s era of remarkably low rates. Pointing to the opportunity to capitalize on low borrowing costs to try to improve the circumstance of those impacted by the pandemic, Tania argues that if easy monetary policy does not ultimately translate to higher productivity and growth, we risk being stuck in a world of very low rates for a very long time. Lastly, we discuss crypto currencies, an asset class that Tania has strong interest in and is very optimistic about. The fixed supply of bitcoin, relative to the ongoing debasement of fiat currencies, addresses the conflict that individuals and Central Banks find themselves in. With a view that the institutional adoption of crypto is increasing but still has far to go, Tania is bullish on growth in the market cap of bitcoin and believes investors should have some portfolio allocation. Please enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my discussion with Tania Reif.