David Keohane has been doing a few posts* on the yen at FT Alphaville, most recently "Irony and that JPY-equity correlation" and each time I read one I think of all the money borrowed in yen to invest in higher yielding places including the U.S. and I wonder "at what point does it all buckle?".
Having correctly predicting the yen’s advance beyond 115 and then 110 per dollar, former Japanese Finance Minister Eisuke Sakakibara now says Japan’s currency may strengthen to 100 by year-end.
As Bloomberg reports, having been in charge of currency intervention in Japan, Sakakibura was dubbed Mr. Yen for his ability to influence the exchange rate in the 1990s, seems to suggest - uinlike Suga overnight - that intervention is unlikely (or unlikley to be successful).
The yen has renewed its highs despite increased rhetoric from Japanese officials in the past week aimed at restraining its advance. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday financial markets continue to be volatile, and he is watching the effect on the economy. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga reiterated the government is watching foreign-exchange movements “with vigilance,” and will take appropriate action if necessary. A weaker currency has been a linchpin of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s program to stoke a recovery and exit deflation. A yen at 105 per dollar is “no problem” for Japan’s economy, the 75-year-old Sakakibara, who is currently a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Any currency intervention can only be done with agreement from the U.S. and other counter parties, he said.
*See also FT Alphaville's:
While noting that 105 would be "no problem" for Japan's economy, we suspect the implied drop in the S&P 500 to 1550 would be a problem for the world's "economy"....MORE