Monday, March 26, 2012

Japanese Yen close to cyclical turn?

For decades during a time of rapid economic growth and a debt deflationary period since 1990, the yen has steadily appreciated in value from the 360 JPY to the USD in 1949 to as high as 76.72 JPY to the USD recently in October 2011. Are we now at a major cyclical turning point for the yen? thinks so. We think the yen will now enter a multi - year phase of modest depreciation. Not a crash, but a gradual slow period of declining currency valuations as the Japanese authorities try to nudge inflation to positive rates from modest deflationary measures. The good news is that the Japanese stock market may now turn into a bullish era as well from a devastating 20 year bear market.

Taxes remain on the whole quite low in Japan, they have room to move here to raise badly needed revenues to begin the process of bringing down the national gross debt which is out of control at over 200 percent of GDP. Not an entirely desperate situation as most of the debt is internally held by Japanese but a concern. Rating agencies have taken notice and put Japan on currency watch. These macro-economic challenges along with a declining population have the earmarks of modest yen currency decline in the years ahead. At present, the yen is approximately 35 percent overvalued to the USD as measured by purchasing power parity.

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