Category Archives: foreign exchange

The Dollar’s Not That Strong

While I’m throwing darts at Paul Kedrosky, I ought to mention that I also think he’s quite wrong about the dollar. He has a good line — "think of the dollar as Squealer the Pig collectible Beanie Babies circa Christmas … Continue reading

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Volatility Datapoint of the Day, Cable Edition

Check out what happened to the pound today: it closed at $1.633, and dropped as far as $1.53 before rallying back in the UK afternoon. That’s a ridiculous move for what’s ostensibly one of the world’s major currencies. But if … Continue reading

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The Sovereign Default Race Heats Up

You thought Iceland was in dire straits? Maybe Pakistan will beat it to the first-to-default finish line! Pakistan’s economic crisis deepened on Monday after the rupee sank to an all-time low and Standard & Poor’s, the global rating agency, downgraded … Continue reading

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The Icelandic Response to Crisis

If you’re looking for a sensible and coherent response to a major crisis, you could do a lot worse today than look to Iceland. The country’s current currency crisis happened because it’s so small. But the solution, too, is something … Continue reading

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Soundbite of the Day, Customer Service Department

Tyler Cowen: Bush, Bernanke, Paulson — we call them leaders. The Chinese think of them as the customer service department. I suspect the Chinese get straighter answers from them than we ever do. Related: Alea has an intriguing answer to … Continue reading

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Beware ETNs, Part 2

Exchange-traded notes come with a monstrous amount of counterparty risk, as investors in Lehman’s ETNs are now discovering: Holders of Lehman Brothers’ structured products “have the same standing as other Lehman holding company senior, unsecured debt, which is trading at … Continue reading

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Beware ETNs

The Chinese renminbi is one of the most stable currencies in the world. Its value against the dollar is severely constrained by the Chinese government, and it never moves very far in any given day. But, it’s hard for foreigners … Continue reading

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Mexican Peso Datapoint of the Day

Currency conversion is so easy these days. More or less, one US dollar is worth the same as a Canadian dollar, an Australian dollar, a Swiss franc, one hundred yen, one thousand won, and half a British pound. The latest … Continue reading

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Free Zimbabwe’s Banks!

As Zimbabwe knocks another ten (yes, ten) zeroes off its currency, the central bank governor, Gideon Gono, is optimistic that somehow this will do some good: so optimistic, in fact, that he’s reintroducing coins. It won’t work, of course. Something … Continue reading

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When Banks Hide Fees in FX Rates

I just transferred some money from my US bank account to a vendor in the UK. Citibank’s wire-transfer fee was a modest flat rate of $20 — or so I thought until I looked at the exchange rate, which was … Continue reading

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