A few days ago, the Japanese government unilaterally intervened in the global markets to deliberately weaken the Yen to help sustain the country's exports.
This move resulted in a lot of criticism both in Europe and the U.S. as Japan is now seen by some as currency manipulator just like China. The problem is that the government's intervention was totally ineffective.
Yesterday, I noticed that the resilient Yen simply climbed back up to where it was. Given this little exercise, the Yen is likely to continue to run at very high levels--blocking economic growth which the country could surely use. To put it another way, the Yen may now be beyond the government's ability to manipulate-- for the time being.
I just returned from Tokyo and experienced the yen devaluation first hand. Right after I bought some yen at 80¥ = $1.00, the yen rate all of a sudden jumped to 85¥. Of course I was bummed, because I lost 5¥, however the volatility of the market made me weary of exchanging any more currency. Also, the Japanese are now paying in USD for services, rather than yen, because they are saving money. Itʻs a sad state of affairs.
I just got in from Tokyo and paid 75 yen for $1.00. At the same time, the front page of one of the Tokyo newspapers announced that the Japanese economy's recovery from the worldwide recession had officially stalled--meaning the growth rate had collapsed from "minimal" to "flat line."