Tax & Financial Tips Archive
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Date: February 24, 2013
Subject: Currency Wars

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G&G Associates
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Currency Wars

Akwaaba (Welcome) G&G Readers,

The subject of currency wars has finally hit the big time. It made it to the front page of the Drudge Report.

Drudge featured a story a few weeks ago entitled “Currency Wars Return, 1930s Style.” It linked to a CNBC story that asks who will lose out in international currency wars, and offered the opinion that Japan is inching the world closer to a monetary showdown.

“The Bank of Japan doubled its inflation target to 2 percent in January and made an open-ended commitment to continue buying assets (until) next year. This follows a leadership change, with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe openly calling for aggressive monetary stimulus from the country’s central bank,” according to the account.

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Anxious to power its crucial export manufacturers — automobiles and electronics — Japan’s government is set to print enough yen to cheapen the currency. A cheap currency, goes the justification, will make the price of Japanese goods more affordable. If, for example, the yen slips two percent, a Japanese automobile that today cost 40,000 U.S. dollars, suddenly becomes 800 dollars cheaper.

It’s like a manufacturer’s rebate for the foreign buyer, except that this price cut doesn’t come at the expense of the carmaker’s profit. It still sells its cars for the same number of yen.

But if the buyer is getting an $800 deal, it has to be at someone’s expense. As the infamous quote states, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Who loses the $800 per automobile that puts a smile on the face of the buyers?

The Japanese people. To achieve its aim, their government has to surreptitiously take 2 percent of the value of every existing yen in existence. From savers old and young, from people with bank accounts, insurance policies, annuities, and pensions. It takes the money from people with sales contracts and time deposits, from Japanese children with piggy banks, and from people with cash in their wallets.

Along the way it raises the price the people of Japan must pay to buy goods that are imported, from groceries to gasoline.

This is socialism. The automobile makers find their profit margins squeezed, so the government steps in to make them whole by “socializing” their losses.

But don’t suppose for a minute that Japan’s carmakers send everybody in Japan a dividend check in boom times. Not at all. The profits are not socialized; they are privatized. The gains belong to the shareholders.

None of this is materially different than what goes on in the United States. In boom times the crony investment banks keep their profits for themselves. When they take a loss, the government and the Federal Reserve step in to make them whole at the expense of the people.

Eventually American carmakers will respond to the sale prices of Japanese vehicles made possible by Japan’s currency depreciation, by demanding import quotas on Japanese cars. And they will demand the further depreciation of the dollar to make American cars similarly affordable to foreign buyers.

History shows that when these import restrictions and trade wars accelerate, they can bring hot wars with them.

One of the great ironies is that the two percent inflation rate the prime minister of Japan is targeting that is reported “to bring the world a step closer to a currency war,” is actually less than that intended by the Federal Reserve. Ben Bernanke intends to keep printing money until inflation hits 2 ½ percent.

A global race to destroy the purchasing power of the world’s major currencies is just getting started. It won’t create more prosperity; it will only redistribute a diminishing prosperity to the crony classes.

It will, however, succeed … in destroying paper (fiat/fake) money.

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Meda Ase p (Thank You Very Much),

Asar Maa Ra Gray
Tax & Financial Consultant, RFC
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LEGAL NOTICE: This work is based on what I’ve learned as a financial researcher and analyst based SEC filings, current events, interviews, corporate press releases and what I've learned as a financial consultant. It may contain errors and you should not base investment decisions solely on what you read here. It’s your money and your responsibility. Nothing herein should be considered personalized investment advice.


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