円急騰 ドル離れ進む世界の投資資金

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 27, 2009)
Yen's surge doesn't deserve appreciation
円急騰 ドル離れ進む世界の投資資金(11月27日付・読売社説)

The yen's value has surged as selling pressure on the U.S. dollar has accelerated on foreign exchange markets. This situation could deal a devastating blow to the tottering Japanese economy.

The yen jumped to a 14-year high in the 86 yen level against the dollar Thursday in Tokyo. The dollar seems to be declining across the board against the euro and currencies of newly emerging economies.

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii indicated the government would intervene in the currency market if exchange rates "move abnormally." U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke also warned against sharp falls of the dollar when he stated recently that the Fed would monitor changes in the value of the greenback.

As dollar-selling pressure appears unlikely to ease anytime soon, the appreciation of the yen and depreciation of the dollar likely will continue for some time. Monetary authorities in Japan and the United States, and other countries for that matter, must work together to moderate excessive fluctuations in currency markets by exploring the possibility of market interventions.


U.S. economic woes

The biggest cause of the falling dollar is the expectation that the United States' ultralow interest rate policy will remain in place as the U.S. economy continues to sputter.

The U.S. unemployment rate has risen to 10 percent. Nascent indications are that this could be a jobless recovery. Some observers have even suggested that U.S. authorities are tacitly tolerating moderate falls in the dollar to stimulate the economy through growth in exports.

A more worrying problem is that the so-called dollar carry trade--investors selling dollars with relatively low interest rates and instead investing in higher-yielding currencies--has kicked into gear.

The yen carry trade was commonplace from about 2004 through 2007. This time around, the dollar is shaking up money markets around the world.

The price of gold has surged to a record high near 1,200 dollars an ounce in New York. This also is a sign that investors are discarding the greenback because gold is purchased as an alternative currency to the dollar. Crude oil and grain prices also have been creeping up as investment funds are diverted into these markets.


Exporters in peril

A sharp rise in the value of the yen and a plunge in the value of the dollar could spell disaster for the Japanese economy, which remains mired in deflation and has yet to get on the path to a full recovery.

Many exporting companies had assumed the yen would average about 90 yen per dollar throughout the second half of this fiscal year. If the yen continues to appreciate sharply against the dollar, these companies would take a battering. These exporters are a driving force of the nation's economy; any faltering by them could throttle the economy again.

Furthermore, the euro's surge could stall a full recovery of the European economy. Concern about economic bubbles is rising in newly emerging nations such as Brazil, which have been magnets for investment funds.

A fall in the dollar would throw the world economy into confusion. To ensure this does not come about, it is essential that the United States emerge from a jobless recovery and regain confidence in its currency. To this end, we consider it imperative that the United States implement effective measures to boost employment.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2009)
(2009年11月27日01時33分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-11-27 09:45 | 英字新聞

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