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Monday, October 24, 2011

People Talk And Yen Goes Down

Now despite the headline, your old pal Andrew Joseph, head gaijin on Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife doesn't really have a lot of interest in the inner workings of why a country's dollar, euro or yen is too high or too low.

He thinks it's all just smoke and mirrors done to appease one segment of the country and then the other - depending on the whims of the government currently in power.

He wonders how countries can go bankrupt, how others can renege on a loan, how others can forgive a loan. He also wonders how, if there are countries that always seem to be in some sort of economic turmoil ant one survives. He knows that when money is tight at home, he goes into a self-imposed starvation mode and tries not to spend any money until the next pay-day. he also knows that it is handy to create a budgetary plan and to follow it, but taking the lead from his country, rarely does to any great success.

He also wonders, since most countries are hurting financially, just which countries are not.

He also tends to believe that much of what goes on in the world of the stock markets is all just buyers and sellers screwing around with companies and the world economy.  For example... why is gold is now at $1,660 an ounce? Did some industry suddenly come along and determine that it needs gold as an ingredient? Did gold suddenly become something people want more of in their day-to-day lives? Did gold sudden;y go up in cost/value because the overlords are now being forced to pay fair and decent wages to its miners? Did gold suddenly become a much needed ingredient in jewelery? Did gold suddenly become rarer? 

Yes, there is less gold still in the ground than there was 20 years ago, but other than that... gold hasn't changed all that much. What is driving the price ever higher? Why can I not afford a nice gold chain or jewelery piece for my wife now?

Global money issues are all artifically created by people. Money, whether it is a dollar, euro, yen (or your country's denomination),  it's just small chunks of metal and thin slices of paper or plastic. It has no real value except whatever it is you put in it. Did it really cost $20 to manufacture that bill in your pocket? No. How is it worth that much? Because the government says it is. That's a lot of faith to be putting into an entity that, with a few exceptions, can't balance its own budget.

Okay... I'm getting off my anarchist soapbox now.

Having said all that, here's some data on what Japan is trying to do to stem the tide against the country's rising yen - rising, that is, against the almighty US dollar, which no matter what other countries seem to believe, the yankee buck is where it all stops.

According to a BBC News report supplied to me from my good buddy Matthew Hall, Japan is looking to take steps to halt the rising yen currency.

This is according to Japan finance minister Azumi Jun (surname first) who dared utter such things about the high yen.

(Ed. Note: And lo and behold... he spoke and the yen magically lowered itself in trading against the US dollar on Monday, October 24, 2011. The country didn't actually do anything except have someone say it was looking into doing something about the high yen, and - PRESTO! - the yen comes down.)  

The yen hit a record high against the dollar in New York on Friday.

Azumi's comments came as Japan reported export growth of 2.4 per cent in September compared to a year ago, according to the Ministry of Finance.

That follows a month of growth in overseas shipments during August.

Japan's exports, hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami that struck in March, have been dented by the strength of the yen.

A strong yen makes Japanese products more expensive in overseas markets compared to Asian rivals such as China and South Korea.

(Ed. Note: Gee... why don't we de-value the yen? It will make things easier to sell overseas. Oh yeah... it will make things tougher for the Japanese people to purchase overseas goods shipped into Japan.)

Last Friday, October 21, 2011, the yen touched 75.78 against the US dollar, alarming Japan's companies and government officials.

"This is an utterly speculative move and not reflecting the economic fundamentals at all. This is regrettable," says Azumi.

(Ed Note: Regretable? What, like WWII? Hopefully that was just a lousy translation of what he really said.)

He continues: "If this move becomes excessive, we have to take decisive action. I already instructed my staff on Saturday to be prepared to take action."

His comments will be seen as a warning to currency speculators whose actions could be contributing towards the yen's rise.

(Ed. Note: See... people bet on money to make money. Their actions screw with how a country is able to function. If you take away such frivilous games, you remove a key factor in countries having major economic concerns. Ahh... but by removing this game, surely it will cause some other part of the global economy to collapse - but which one?) 

Now, investors are waiting to see if the government will directly intervene in the currency markets again.

(Ed. Note: Yes... no one should invest in anything until we can figure out what the Japanese government is going to do. Acting too quickly by guessing incorrectly could be regretable.)

The last time officials intervened was in August, when they spent a record amount of money trying to weaken the yen.

Okay... story over... here's some of my comments: 

Yeah... how did Japan spending money to lower the yen go last time? How did that work out? Oh yeah... here we go again. Let's spend money to weaken the purchasing power of our currency? Maybe the finance minister needs to simply say he is looking to do something soon about something - I'm sure it will cause the yen to either get weaker or stronger.

Meanwhile, because I lack a business degree (I am a journalism graduate and a graduate in political science - as well as a piano and clarinet teacher and a qualified soccer coach), I'm sure I don't have all the answers regarding why currencies go up and down or why stocks go up and down. It almost wishes for pure communism to take effect - not China's or the former USSR's, but rather the pure true concept of it, where everyone is equal, no one has any more than the other. Too bad we (and I include myself) are all such greedy bastards and always want more than what we have. I blame my parents.

Seriously...  read this story again and note that the YEN actually dropped in value on Monday after the Japanese Minister of Finance said he was looking at doing something about the high yen.
He didn't actually do anything except make an announcement.

If that was his "something", then mission accomplished... the yen dropped down.

If he wants it lower, maybe he should make another speech. It's all just smoke and mirrors with people playing with us. And I hate it.

On the plus side, I love the fact that the Canadian dollar is at par to the US dollar thanks to news that China's manufacturing MAY grow during the month of October. But what if it actually does grow? Will the Canadian dollar grow stronger against the US dollar? And what if China's manufacturing sector isn't as strong? Does that mean I now have to spend more to buy gold I don't really need from another country? And why does Canada sell gas and oil to the U.S. and then buy it back from them at a higher rate? Are we that stupid, or is this just some sort of scam?  

Money issues? Yeah... we all have money issues.)

Grumpily compiled by Andrew Joseph
PS: Thanks Matthew - always feel free to send me a story idea.

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