With the exception of emerging market countries in trouble like Brazil and Russia, and complete hyperinflation basket cases like Venezuela, can anyone name a central bank that genuinely wants a stronger currency?
Today, the Bank of Japan is at the top of the whiner list of strong currency complainers, despite the obvious mathematics.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warns Current Yen Strength Risks Harming Japan Recovery“.
Speaking to reporters in Frankfurt Monday, Kuroda also reiterated that BOJ policy makers won’t hesitate to expand monetary stimulus in order to achieve their 2 percent inflation target. The central bank’s board left settings unchanged at a meeting Thursday, spurring a nearly 5 percent, two-day surge in the yen against the dollar.
“There is a risk that the yen’s current appreciation brings an unwelcome impact on the economy,” Kuroda said on the sidelines of an annual gathering of finance chiefs from members of the Asian Development Bank, which he used to lead. “We will be closely monitoring the impact of financial markets on the real economy and prices.”
The yen has climbed 13 percent against the dollar this year, the best performance among its developed-market peers. It reached an 18-month high of 106.05 per greenback and was at 106.13 as of 8:32 a.m. in Singapore.
Japan’s economy is at risk of sliding into its second recession in two years after contracting in the final three months of 2015, while inflation remains far from the BOJ’s target. One gauge showed consumer prices retreated at an annual 0.3 percent pace in March, the biggest decline since April 2013, the month that Kuroda initiated his stimulus program.
Between January 2012 and May 2015, the Yen declined a massive 39.43% against the US dollar.
What more did Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda expect?
It is mathematically impossible for every country to simultaneously devalue their currencies vs. every other currency.
Yet, the Bank of Japan, the ECB, and the Fed all want to do just that.
Moreover, the belief that inflation generates growth is absurd in and of itself.
Yet, here we are.
Amusingly, one of the ways Japan seeks to increase inflation is an “outing” process of corporations that do not raise wages.
For my rebuttal, please consider Is Anemic Wage Growth Stifling the Economy?
I am willing to go way out of my way for central bankers to get what they want. I repeat my sure fire solution for Japan to get the inflation it seeks.
I propose negative sales taxes!
Mike “Mish” Shedlock