It is surprisingly difficult to find economic variables that strongly co-move with exchange rates, a phenomenon codified in a large literature on “exchange rate disconnect.” We demonstrate that a variety of common proxies for global risk appetite, which did not co-move with exchange rates prior to 2007, have provided significant in-sample explanatory power for currencies since then. Furthermore, during 2007-2012, U.S. purchases of foreign bonds were highly correlated with these risk measures and with exchange rates. Our results support the narrative that the US dollar's role as an international and safe-haven currency has surged since the global financial crisis.

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