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American Dollar and Yen Exchange Rate 2010/8/5 02:51
United States
I've been noticing (with some dread) the current dollar/yen conversion rate, presently so unfavorable for American travelers. I'm no economist, and wonder if some knowledgeable persons out there might be able to give some insights into the reasons for the rates and trends. I realize our economy is in the dumps, but imagine that the Japanese situation isn't much better. Also, prospects for any improvement in the near term.
I'd enjoy getting insights on the above.
by koniero  

... 2010/8/5 11:03
When the economy of any country declines or becomes unstable to a certain point (in some cases when the country's credit rating is adjusted), other nations begin looking to unload assets in that particular currency.

An investment in dollar interests will lose money so the smart play is to pull out of those investments.

Simultaneously, those same investors start putting their money in what they feel is a more stable currency.

The US economy has been hammered over the last 2-3 years with seemingly endless financial tidal waves: housing bubble, AIG, Lehman Shock, ponzi schemes...
With such poor restraint/control/oversight of the US financial sector, the global markets have lost significant confidence in the dollar.
At the same time, the fact that the EU and its Euro have been a disaster is a very poorly kept secret and most of the region's largest economies either don't want it or are wishing they could back out of it.
Couple that with the aftershocks felt from all the US mess, and you get the 30% or so decline in value of the Euro over the past couple of years.

Of major economies, that unfortunately only leaves the yen. It's a double blow for Japan, which not only felt its own aftershocks from the US economy, but is struggling with deflation. The higher yen is seriously hurting trade and thus now Japan is waking up to international tourism.

Japan has one of the worst tourism economies among major nations (and many developing countries) but the economic downturn has led the government to enact a variety of new measures including reducing restrictions on Asian travel visas.

In all, until we some major event to boost confidence in the US economy, the yen will remain strong against the dollar.

By major event, we are talking achieving world peace or winning World War III, making first contact with aliens, achieving cold fusion, or some other near-mythical scientific or cultural event that would change the world overnight much like we saw with WWII, the lunar landing, and MTV.

The days of 120-130 yen to the dollar will fade from memory before that happens.

If you seek a favorable exchange rate against the dollar, it's time you looked into a different country.
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