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Dollar Market Volatility: Bangladesh Faces Economic Storms and Political Uncertainties

Dollar Market Volatility: Bangladesh Faces Economic Storms and Political Uncertainties

In the heart of Dhaka, Bangladesh, a financial storm has been brewing, shaking the foundations of the dollar market. Over the past two weeks, the market has experienced unprecedented volatility, leaving citizens and businesses grappling with uncertainties. Despite government directives to buy expatriate income at a maximum rate of 116 taka with incentives, reports suggest that numerous banks have acquired dollars at an alarming rate of 124 taka, surpassing the prescribed limit. Furthermore, the open market has witnessed the dollar’s price soaring to Tk 127, creating a palpable sense of economic unease. Here below the some reasons and proposed for the dollar crisis solutions in Bangladesh as follow as :

1. The Enigma Unveiled: Discrepancies Between Rates:

In the intricate web of global finance, the recent turbulence in the dollar market has exposed a confounding enigma—a glaring dissonance between government-prescribed rates and the prevailing market dynamics. At the epicenter of this financial conundrum is a disquieting incident that unfolded in the bustling streets of Dhaka, where a food importer found himself entangled in a perplexing discrepancy between the officially mandated exchange rate and the starkly different rate presented by the market. 

This microcosmic episode becomes a lens through which we can dissect the larger and more complex issue at hand. The protagonist of this financial drama, a Dhaka-based food importer, ventured to open a Letter of Credit (LC) in a reputable bank, a routine transaction in the world of international trade. However, what transpired next was anything but routine. To his bewilderment, the importer was confronted with a dollar price of Tk 125, a substantial deviation from the government-set rate of Tk 111. This disconcerting disparity sent shockwaves through the financial ecosystem, laying bare a discrepancy that goes beyond mere market fluctuations.

The critical juncture of this narrative lies in the inability of the bank to furnish a coherent explanation for this sudden surge in the dollar exchange rate. The bewildered importer, seeking clarity on a matter of paramount importance to his business, found himself met with ambiguous responses and a conspicuous lack of transparency. The vacuum of information has, in turn, become fertile ground for speculation, triggering a cascade of questions that reverberate not only within the banking corridors of Dhaka but also in the broader realms of economic analysis.

The first layer of inquiry revolves around the mechanics of the exchange rate itself. What factors precipitated this substantial and seemingly arbitrary shift from the government-stipulated rate of Tk 111 to the market-offered Tk 125? Is this an isolated incident or indicative of a systemic issue that has hitherto remained concealed beneath the surface of routine financial transactions? Unraveling the intricacies of this rate distortion requires a meticulous examination of the market forces at play, the regulatory frameworks in place, and the mechanisms governing the foreign exchange landscape.

Delving deeper into the labyrinth of market practices, it becomes imperative to scrutinize the broader implications of such discrepancies. Beyond the immediate financial repercussions for the individual importer, these anomalies underscore a broader vulnerability within the economic infrastructure. How robust are the checks and balances that should ostensibly regulate the alignment between government-set rates and market realities? Are there systemic loopholes that permit such deviations to occur, and if so, what ramifications do they pose for the stability of the financial system at large?

The incident in Dhaka also unfurls a tapestry of interconnected questions surrounding the broader economic landscape. What role does government intervention play in shaping exchange rates, and to what extent should market forces be allowed to influence these rates organically? Are there underlying geopolitical or macroeconomic factors that have silently orchestrated this dissonance between official rates and market trends? Examining these questions necessitates a comprehensive exploration of the intricate interplay between state policies, international trade dynamics, and the intricate dance of supply and demand in the global market.

Moreover, the lack of a coherent explanation from the bank raises critical questions about transparency and accountability within financial institutions. In an era where information is often considered as valuable as currency itself, the opacity surrounding the surge in the dollar exchange rate begs scrutiny. To what extent are financial institutions obligated to provide clear and concise explanations for discrepancies of this nature? What safeguards and reporting mechanisms should be in place to ensure that such incidents are not brushed aside as isolated anomalies, but rather, are subject to thorough investigation and corrective action?

As this financial mystery unfolds, it casts a spotlight on the broader issue of communication and information dissemination within the financial sector. How efficiently are critical financial decisions communicated to the stakeholders involved, and what mechanisms exist to address and rectify discrepancies in a timely manner? The ability of financial institutions to navigate and respond to such discrepancies not only impacts the confidence of individual participants in the market but also has repercussions for the broader perception of the financial system’s integrity and reliability.

In contemplating the implications of this enigma, it becomes evident that it is not merely an isolated incident confined to the local dynamics of Dhaka. Rather, it serves as a microcosm of a global challenge—one that demands a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationships between government policies, market forces, and the resilience of financial institutions in the face of unforeseen disruptions. The repercussions of such discrepancies extend beyond the immediate financial concerns of individual actors; they have the potential to ripple through the fabric of international trade, influencing investor confidence, shaping economic policies, and even impacting diplomatic relations.

The solution to this enigma requires a multi-faceted approach. On the regulatory front, there is a need for a thorough review of existing frameworks governing foreign exchange transactions. Are there gaps or ambiguities in the regulations that allow for such deviations to occur without adequate oversight? Strengthening and refining these regulations may serve as a proactive measure to prevent future occurrences of this nature.

Simultaneously, financial institutions must introspect on their communication strategies and transparency standards. The incident in Dhaka highlights the critical importance of clear and unambiguous communication, especially when it comes to matters as sensitive as exchange rates. Implementing robust communication protocols and ensuring that stakeholders are promptly informed and engaged can contribute to building trust and mitigating the potentially destabilizing effects of such discrepancies.

Furthermore, the incident calls for a collective effort in fostering a culture of accountability within the financial sector. Financial institutions should be held to high standards of transparency, and mechanisms for accountability should be robust enough to ensure that deviations from prescribed rates are thoroughly investigated and rectified. This could involve regular audits, enhanced reporting requirements, and a commitment to swift corrective action in cases of identified discrepancies.

2. Dollar Market Realities: Struggles of Money Exchanges:

In adherence to Bangladesh Bank directives, money exchanges operate under the mandate of selling dollars at a maximum rate of Tk 117, coupled with the obligation to purchase dollars at a lower stipulated price. This regulatory framework aims to maintain stability in the foreign exchange market. However, recent times have witnessed a surge in grievances, with complaints pouring in about money exchanges failing to comply with these prescribed rates. In response to this growing concern, the central bank has intensified its surveillance efforts to ensure adherence to the stipulated rates.

Adding another layer of complexity to this narrative is the counter-narrative put forth by money exchanges. They assert that the market presents a challenge, with a notable scarcity of sellers willing to engage in transactions at the mandated rates. This contention not only adds a layer of complexity to the regulatory landscape but also raises questions about the practical feasibility of enforcing fixed rates in a market driven by dynamic forces. The struggles of money exchanges, caught between regulatory directives and market realities, underscore the delicate balance required to navigate the intricacies of the foreign exchange landscape.

3. The Escalating Dollar Price: A Timeline of Fluctuations:

The trajectory of the dollar price in Bangladesh, particularly in relation to the government-set rates, unfolds as a dynamic timeline marked by fluctuations and escalations. This economic saga commenced on August 22, 2021, when the dollar price modestly rose from 84 taka to 85 taka. Over the ensuing two years, this seemingly incremental shift evolved into a substantial surge, reaching a pinnacle at 109 taka before eventually settling at the current government-mandated rate of 111 taka. 

However, the intriguing aspect of this narrative lies not just in the numbers themselves but in the erratic nature of their implementation. Despite the ostensibly firm government stance on the dollar rate, the market has borne witness to a lack of consistent adherence. Over the past two years, the dollar price has oscillated with noticeable volatility, reaching highs of 125 to 127 taka. This rollercoaster ride prompts pertinent questions about the efficacy of regulatory measures, as the market seems to defy the prescribed rates, introducing an element of uncertainty into the broader economic landscape.

4. Regulatory Efforts and Market Response: A Tug of War:

In a bid to restore order to the tumultuous dollar market, Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, delegated oversight responsibilities to key entities such as the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA) and the Association of Bankers to ABB. These organizations were entrusted with the task of formulating and implementing rates designed to bring stability to the market. However, the synergy between regulatory efforts and market response has proven to be a complex tug of war, with outcomes that often deviate from the intended course.

While BAFEDA and the Association of Bankers to ABB have diligently set rates to rein in the escalating dollar prices, the effectiveness of these efforts remains questionable in the face of market dynamics. Some banks have reportedly circumvented the prescribed rates by procuring dollars from foreign remittance houses at rates exceeding the fixed benchmarks. This practice, in turn, has led to the passing on of additional costs to customers, further complicating the relationship between regulatory directives and the actualities of market behaviour.

The interplay between regulatory endeavors and the response from financial institutions and market participants introduces a layer of complexity that requires careful examination. It prompts reflection on the adequacy of the delegated oversight mechanisms and the need for a recalibration of strategies to align regulatory objectives with the practicalities of the ever-evolving financial landscape. As the tug of war between regulatory frameworks and market forces continues, finding a harmonious equilibrium becomes imperative for restoring stability to the dollar market in Bangladesh.5. Challenges Faced by Banks: Navigating a Conundrum

Banks, traditionally seen as the pillars of financial stability, find themselves entangled in a complex web of challenges as they attempt to navigate the tumultuous waters of the dollar market. The conundrum they face is multifaceted, driven by a myriad of factors ranging from regulatory directives to the pragmatic realities of demand and supply dynamics. In an era where global economic uncertainties cast long shadows, local financial institutions grapple with the intricacies of procuring dollars at rates that align with both governmental mandates and the practicalities of the market.

At the heart of the banking dilemma lies the pressing need to meet the burgeoning demand for dollars, fueled by an economy that relies heavily on international trade. As exporters clamor for access to dollars to facilitate transactions and importers seek to secure their supply chains, banks find themselves caught in a delicate balancing act. The prescribed rates set by Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA) and the Association of Bankers to ABB advocate for settling Letters of Credit (LC) at the government-mandated rate of Tk 111. However, the stark reality banks face is the escalating price at which they procure dollars from foreign remittance houses, often surpassing Tk 118. This dissonance between the desired rates and the practical costs of acquiring dollars places banks in a precarious position, forcing them to reconcile conflicting demands from regulatory bodies and the economic forces at play in the international market.

The challenges do not end with the pricing dissonance; they extend to the very core of the country’s economic engine – the dwindling foreign remittance and export earnings. Over the past two years, these primary sources of dollars for Bangladesh have experienced a noticeable decline. With fewer dollars flowing into the economy, banks are compelled to explore alternative avenues to meet the insatiable demand. The conundrum is exacerbated by the reluctance of money exchanges to adhere strictly to the prescribed rates, citing a lack of sellers willing to transact at these levels. This has created a situation where banks, grappling with a shortage of dollars, are forced to pay higher prices in the open market, inevitably leading to the inflation of dollar prices in the broader economy.

As banks endeavor to strike a delicate balance between regulatory compliance and economic pragmatism, the looming question remains: How sustainable is the current approach, and what strategic interventions can financial institutions employ to weather the storm? The very fabric of the banking sector is being tested as it grapples with the intricacies of a market that is both influenced by global economic trends and shaped by local imperatives. Only through a nuanced understanding of these challenges and a proactive response can banks hope to steer through the conundrum and emerge on the other side with a resilient and adaptable financial system.

6. Hundi and Market Dynamics: The Hidden Catalyst:

Economists scrutinizing the volatility in Bangladesh’s dollar market point to a hidden yet potent catalyst— the prevalence of hundi. This clandestine and informal system of remittance poses a significant challenge to the stability of the market. Individuals seeking to move dollars abroad find themselves willing to pay premium prices through hundi transactions, thereby creating a heightened demand for dollars in the market. Foreign remittance houses, keenly responsive to this lucrative demand, have adjusted their practices accordingly, selling dollars at elevated prices. This phenomenon, driven by the dynamics of hundi, significantly contributes to the overall turbulence in the dollar market, introducing an element of unpredictability that extends beyond the realm of conventional economic analyses.

Understanding the intricacies of hundi transactions unveils a complex interplay between individual behaviors and market forces. The willingness of individuals to pay higher prices for the convenience and speed offered by hundi transactions fuels a self-perpetuating cycle of increased demand. As foreign remittance houses respond to this demand by selling dollars at elevated prices, the market is further propelled into a state of flux. Unraveling the hidden threads of hundi’s influence requires a nuanced exploration of not only its economic implications but also its societal and cultural roots, as it operates as both a reflection and a driver of certain financial practices.

7. Political Landscape and Economic Uncertainty: A Tumultuous Confluence:

Against the backdrop of the dollar market’s turbulence, a looming specter adds another layer of complexity—the impending elections in Bangladesh. The convergence of political dynamics with economic uncertainties creates a tumultuous confluence that casts a shadow over the stability of the dollar. Stakeholders, from investors to ordinary citizens, express palpable skepticism regarding the potential for stability in the rising dollar in the lead-up to the elections.

The source of this skepticism lies in the uncertainty surrounding possible changes in the government’s monetary and dollar market policies. As the country grapples with a decline in export income and expatriate earnings, the political landscape becomes a decisive factor in shaping the economic trajectory. The inherent unpredictability associated with political transitions further amplifies the challenges faced by stakeholders in anticipating and responding to changes in the dollar market. This confluence of political and economic uncertainties creates an environment where even seasoned analysts find it challenging to predict the trajectory of the dollar, adding an additional layer of complexity to an already intricate situation.

8. Bangladesh Bank’s Response: A Cloak of Silence Amidst Action:

Amidst the mounting concerns and uncertainties, the response from Bangladesh Bank, the central regulatory authority, adds a layer of intrigue to the unfolding narrative. Inquiries into the situation have been met with a cloak of silence from the bank’s spokesperson, leaving stakeholders and the public in a state of speculation. However, sources within the bank suggest that behind this veil of secrecy, substantive steps have been taken to curb manipulation in the dollar market. The prospect of these measures potentially leading to lower prices in the near future offers a glimmer of hope amid the prevailing uncertainty.

The effectiveness of these measures, however, remains uncertain, particularly in light of the persistent decline in the two main sources of dollars in Bangladesh—export income and expatriate earnings. The cryptic juxtaposition of a silent official stance with reported behind-the-scenes actions adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, leaving room for conjecture and debate about the trajectory of the dollar market in the coming weeks.

9. The Road Ahead: Navigating Economic Crossroads:

As Bangladesh finds itself at a critical juncture in its economic landscape, the road ahead is fraught with challenges and uncertainties, particularly in the realm of the dollar market. With dwindling export income and expatriate earnings, coupled with the looming specter of political change, the country stands at a crossroads. As Bangladesh Bank navigates these challenges, the collective hope is for a swift resolution to the dollar market volatility that has gripped the nation in recent weeks.

The path forward demands a delicate balance between regulatory measures, economic policies, and an astute understanding of the multifaceted forces at play. Navigating these economic crossroads requires not only reactive responses to immediate challenges but also a strategic vision for long-term stability. Stakeholders across sectors, from financial institutions to the general public, await a coherent and effective strategy that can steer the nation toward a more predictable and resilient economic future.

Conclusion: A Call for Stability Amidst Economic Storms:

In the turbulent currents of economic challenges, Bangladesh stands at a pivotal juncture, grappling with the repercussions of a volatile dollar market. The undulating nature of this market mirrors the intricate web woven by the simultaneous decline in export income, expatriate earnings, and the looming specter of political uncertainties. As the nation braces itself for the upcoming elections, the imperative for stability resonates across sectors, echoing a collective call for resilience and strategic foresight. 

The multidimensional challenges faced by Bangladesh necessitate a holistic approach to address the root causes and cultivate sustainable solutions. At the forefront of these challenges is the volatility in the dollar market, a symptom of broader economic intricacies. The declining trend in export income, once a stalwart pillar of the economy, has created a ripple effect, contributing to the fragility witnessed in the foreign exchange landscape. Similarly, the waning strength of expatriate earnings, a lifeline for many households, further compounds the economic challenges, exacerbating the need for stability.

As the nation anticipates the electoral landscape, the call for stability becomes more urgent. The intersection of political uncertainties with economic vulnerabilities introduces an additional layer of complexity, requiring a delicate balancing act to navigate these uncharted waters. Stakeholders, spanning from businesses to individual citizens, find themselves in a state of heightened anticipation, seeking reassurance and a clear path forward.

The efficacy of regulatory measures assumes paramount importance in this context. The regulatory frameworks governing the dollar market, foreign exchange transactions, and overall economic stability must be not only robust but also adaptive to the evolving dynamics. Striking a delicate balance between proactive regulatory interventions and allowing market forces to function organically is crucial for restoring and maintaining stability.

Financial institutions, as custodians of economic stability, play a pivotal role in shaping the response to these challenges. Their resilience and adaptability in the face of economic storms will determine the extent to which the nation can weather the current turbulence. The responsiveness of these institutions to regulatory measures, coupled with a commitment to transparency and effective communication, becomes instrumental in rebuilding and fortifying confidence in the financial system.

Amidst these trials, the resilience of the broader economy comes into focus. The ability of businesses to navigate uncertainties, adapt to changing market conditions, and innovate in the face of challenges becomes a barometer of economic health. Collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors, aimed at fostering economic resilience and sustainability, are paramount for steering the nation toward calmer waters.

In conclusion, Bangladesh’s journey through the economic storms requires a collective commitment to stability, adaptability, and strategic planning. The upcoming elections serve as a critical juncture, demanding not only political foresight but also economic acumen to navigate the challenges on the horizon. The nation’s response to the volatility in the dollar market is emblematic of its broader capacity to weather economic storms and emerge stronger on the other side. The call for stability is not just a reactive measure; it is a proactive stance that beckons a comprehensive and collaborative effort to build a resilient economic future for Bangladesh. Only time will unfold the narrative, revealing the nation’s ability to transform challenges into opportunities and emerge triumphant in the face of adversity.


Billal Hossain
Billal Hossain
Billal Hossain, a seasoned professional with a Master's degree in Mathematics, has built a rich and varied career as a banker, economist, and anti-money laundering expert. His journey in the financial sector has seen him in leading roles, notably in AL-Rajhi Banking Inc. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and as Foreign Relations and Correspondent Maintenance Officer of Bank-AL-Bilad. Beyond the confines of traditional finance, Billal has emerged as a prominent writer and commentator, contributing thought-provoking columns and theses to various newspapers and online portals. His expertise spans a wide range of important global issues, including the complexities of economics, political dynamics, the plight of migrant workers, remittances, reserves, and other interrelated aspects. Billal brings a unique analytical perspective to his writing, combining academic rigor with practical insights gained from his banking career. His articles not only demonstrate a deep understanding of complex issues but also provide readers with informed perspectives, bridging the gap between theory and real-world application. Billal Hossain's contributions stand as a testament to his commitment to unraveling the complexities of our interconnected world, providing valuable insights that contribute to a broader and more nuanced understanding of the global economic landscape.



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