Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Greatest Stock Market Crash Of Your Life Is Just Ahead… – Warns Harry Dent - GoldCore
2.Budget 2016: Borrowing, Lifetime ISA, House Prices, Economy, Syria, Brexit and Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Intermediate Top - Clive_Maund
4.Brussels Terror Attacks, Death of the European Union, BrExit Wake up Call - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Stock Market Maybe This Time is Different? - Tony_Caldaro
6.UK House Asking Prices Break Above £300k! Housing Market Paralysis - Nadeem_Walayat
7.A Big Reason Why Silver Price Is Set To Soar - Hubert_Moolman
8.The Financial Crisis Has Just Begun; Is The American Dream Is Over? - Chris_Vermeulen
9.Gold Stocks Spring Rally - Zeal_LLC
10.GLX, GLDX, Baby Gold Bull Market Stillborn? - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Stock Market Strong Elliott Wave Relationship is Developing - 29th Apr 16
Fed's Kaplan: Brexit to Factor in US June Interest Rate Decision - 29th Apr 16
Silver Miners Strong in Grim Q4 - 29th Apr 16
Is Silver a better bet than Gold in the Near Future? - 29th Apr 16
How to Use the CoT Report in Gold Investing? - 29th Apr 16
Sri Lanka is Intriguing: Areas to Consider for Value Investing - 29th Apr 16
Gold “Chart of The Decade” – Maths Suggest $10,000 Per Ounce Says Rickards - 29th Apr 16
Are We or Are We Not in a New Gold Bull Market? - 29th Apr 16
Silver: The “Five Year Plan” and the Great Leap Forward - 28th Apr 16
Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy Has Taken Over The Economy and Is Draining It! - 28th Apr 16
AUD/USD - Trend Reversal or Just a Bigger Pullback? - 28th Apr 16
A Gold Revaluation Could Transform Your Financial Status - Overnight - 28th Apr 16
Monetary Policies Misunderstood - 28th Apr 16
Gold Bullion vs Gold Miners - 28th Apr 16
OECD Suggests BrExit Would Cut Net Migration by 1.2 Million by 2030 - 28th Apr 16
MP Naz Shah Punished for Tweets Made During Israel's Genocide of Gaza Palestinian People - 28th Apr 16
Global Recession in 2016 and Beyond - The Obvious Evidence - 27th Apr 16
Why Gold Bugs Need to Stop Listening to The Fear Mongers and Start Thinking for a Change - 27th Apr 16
BlackRock’s Fink: Fed to Raise Interest Rates by Quarter Point ‘at Best’ - 27th Apr 16
Gold More Productive Than Cash?! - 27th Apr 16
Donald Trump Will Fire Janet Yellen and Be Trapped - 27th Apr 16
Money Saving Gardening by Propagating Roses From Cuttings - Propagating Rose Plants Over 2.5 Years - 27th Apr 16
Facebook Censors Pro Trump and Negative Hillary News - 27th Apr 16
This is the Era of the Democrats and Your Taxes are Going Up - 27th Apr 16
Long Awaited Gold Price Breakout - 26th Apr 16
Crude Oil Price Double Top or Further Rally? - 26th Apr 16
Madness in the Crimex Gold and Silver Trading Pits - 26th Apr 16
Britain's Prospects: GBP and BREXIT - MAP Wave Analysis - 26th Apr 16
CRB, Gold, Oil, Cotton, Coffee - 7 Must See Commodities Charts - 26th Apr 16
Gold Price Target is $3,000 and Silver is $75 per Ounce - 25th Apr 16
Parameters for a Stock Market Sell Signal-in-the-making - 25th Apr 16
Stock Market Dangerous Divergence - 25th Apr 16
Gold Miners Nub is the Sweat of the Sun - 24th Apr 16
US Dollar Price Forecast - 24th Apr 16
Stock Market Upside Objective Reached - 24th Apr 16
Why Leftist Greeks have more reasons than Liberals to favour Entrepreneurship and Support Entrepreneurs - 24th Apr 16
The Dow Jones is a Catalyst for Misplaced Stock Market Optimism - 24th Apr 16
Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft and Ships - 24th Apr 16
Stocks Bull or Bear Market Rally? - 23rd Apr 16
A Bright Future for Solar Power in the Middle East - 23rd Apr 16
Silver Commitments of Traders – Halloween is Arriving Early This Year - 23rd Apr 16
Good News, Bad News, Both Favor Gold And Silver - 23rd Apr 16
Mish's Sure Fire Proposal to End Japanese Deflation - 23rd Apr 16
Mish Shedlock: “EXCUSE ME MR. PRESIDENT, IS THAT A JOKE?” - 23rd Apr 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Catching a Falling Financial Knife

How to Make a Fortune If the Currency Wars Go Atomic

Currencies / Fiat Currency Feb 25, 2013 - 12:16 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Currencies

Shah Gilani writes: There's a lot of talk about currency wars these days, but very little understanding about what that means for specific countries, economic growth, inflation, and your pocketbook.

Let's fix that.

First of all, there has been no declaration of any currency war. And there likely won't be.


That's because open currency warfare could quickly lead to a mushrooming global crisis.

But that doesn't mean countries aren't already engaged in currency battles; they are. They almost always are.

Here's an over-simplified explanation about how currency wars affect you.

What You Need To Know About Currencies
If Japan exports cars to America and America exports grain to Japan, each has to pay the other. American grain exporters want to get paid in dollars, so they can spend those dollars in the U.S. The Japanese want to get paid in yen so they can pay their workers in yen, pay their taxes in yen, and spend their money in Japan.

Americans (in this example it wouldn't be you, but the cars importers) can "buy" yen with their dollars to pay the Japanese for their cars, or the Japanese can accept dollars as payment and then use those dollars to buy yen themselves.

Of course it works the other way around if you're a grain farmer selling to Japan.

But the value of yen to dollars, or dollars to yen, isn't constant. There is no set exchange rate. Exchange rates are set in open currency trading markets where currencies are bought and sold to the tune of several trillions of dollars a day, every day. One day a dollar might buy 100 yen and the next day it might buy only 98 yen, or it could buy 102 yen.

Lots of factors determine exchange rates, but the biggest, by far, is interest rates. I'll get to that, and then you'll understand the whole currency thing, and never forget it.

Currency wars, which are waged all the time, but not dramatically, are all about the value of your "home" currency relative to other countries' currencies. Our home currency in America is the U.S. dollar, in Japan it's the yen, in the 17-nation euro-currency bloc it's the euro, in Great Britain it's the pound, and so on.

Countries that export a lot of goods want their currency to be "cheap" relative to other countries, especially those countries who are buying the home countries' exported goods.

If the value of American dollars to Japanese yen is strong, meaning a dollar can buy a lot of yen, when you buy a Japanese car, for example, it will take fewer dollars to pay for it.
If the value of the yen goes up relative to the dollar, that car is going to cost more because your dollars don't buy as many yen as they did before.

Currency exchange rates have nothing to do with what kind of car you are buying from Japan or what features it has; the currency "cost" is a separate component of the cost of that car. That's true for all products imported and exported around the world.

Because Japan exports a lot of cars, not just to America, but around the world, it wants its currency to be "cheaper" than other currencies so it doesn't take as many dollars, or euros, or pounds to buy a Japanese car, or any product exported from Japan.

Here's the problem. America is a huge exporter of goods and services, too. So is Germany, and of course so is China. From a political perspective, all governments want to support their exporting industries. It's about manufacturing and jobs, and revenue and profits, and economic growth and standards of living.

The easiest way to facilitate an export-driven economy, like Japan's, like China's, like Germany's, and like America's (especially lately as domestic demand in the U.S. has softened as a result of the Great Recession) is to keep the home currency "cheap" relative to other currencies.

If exporting countries, especially those that don't have big domestic demand bases, meaning less-developed and "emerging-markets" economies, are all trying to export their way to growth (as is the U.S.) and they all want to have their currencies be "cheap" on a relative basis, that can't happen. Everyone's currency can't be cheap at the same time.

That's what precipitates currency wars. Governments who want to stimulate growth through exports (and who doesn't?) usually subtly, but sometimes overtly, take measures to lower the value of their currencies.

Japan's new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in an unusual exception to the pacifist approach to currency skirmishes, recently fired a shot heard round the world. To lower the value of the yen, Abe is demanding domestic monetary easing, aggressive stimulus, and more dangerously, has openly been talking down the yen.

While Abe's bold-faced rhetoric is provocative, G20 finance ministers and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, have been calmly trying to defuse any mounting tensions that could trigger any country-specific retaliation and a global race to devalue currencies.

Is Japan to blame? No. America really started the latest round of currency battles.

In order to "stimulate" our way out of the Great Recession, which included President Obama's articulated policy of dramatically increasing America's exports, the Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Administration's wishes and its own interest in re-capitalizing the nation's big banks the Fed is beholden to, has kept interest rates low, as in very low.

One of the ways the Fed has done this is by "printing" money. The Fed has the ability, beyond the reach of Congress or the President, to buy what it wants, which is most often U.S. Treasury government bonds (that pay interest). It pays for what it buys by simply issuing "credits" as payment.

Those credits are turned into money as they are spent by the government whose bonds the Fed buys, or by banks who sell the Fed (on a temporary basis, with the intention of buying them back in the future, usually) their underwater mortgage-backed securities. Thus, the banks supposedly have money to lend.

Here's Where It All Comes Together
Because the Fed has kept interest rates so low in America, investors who want more interest income on their money than they get here are parking their money in other countries where interest rates are higher. In order to put your money into a bank in another country that offers higher interest rates than banks offer in the U.S. you have to first buy that country's currency. And that bids up that country's currency relative to the dollars that you are selling.

In addition to the dollar being weakened, on a relative value basis, by investors selling dollars to buy and invest in other countries currencies, the amount of money being printed by the Fed means that at some point in the future all that money in the system will cause prices to rise.

Inflation is the result of a lot of excess paper money chasing a set amount of goods and services.

Inflation, and just the prospect of inflation, causes the dollar to fall further. And if the dollar is falling relative to the Japanese yen or the euro, other countries who want to grow their exports are going to eventually do what they have to in order to lower the value of their own currencies.

That's how we get into currency wars.

The net result is inflation, which arrives in several different ways.

You'll know when it's starting to spread. Interest rates will start to rise; watch the yield on the U.S. 10-year treasury. Commodity prices will rise; you'll see it in your grocery bills. You may already be seeing the incipient signs.

Stocks will rise at first -- then start to collapse. So, make sure you're in the market but keep raising your protective stops as prices rise.

Buy commodities and gold, but take profits on your commodities as they skyrocket; they won't stay high forever.

Don't pay off your mortgage, make the minimum payments. You can pay it off later with cheaper dollars.

Accumulate as much cash as you can, and when prices crash -- which will include real estate -- be ready to buy, buy, buy.

That's how to turn an atomic implosion that could result from currency wars into a personal fortune.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/02/25/how-to-make-a-fortune-if-the-currency-wars-go-atomic/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife