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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peeing in bed

Shortly after Brazil's finance minister Guido Mantega famously declared to the Financial Times in 2010 that we were in the midst of a global currency war, James Rickards published his best seller book (same name).  The rest is history, not a day goes by when the press does not mention the term...

The following chart (from LexisNexis) shows some interesting trends: The term "currency wars" was not on the world's mind in 2009. In fact only 36 articles used this term during the year. Guido Mantega made the term very popular in 2010. Its popularity decreasing year after year... Until... the new Japanese government decides to take action early this year. If this trend continues, it will be a record

The problem with all of this is what Francesco Guerrera from the WSJ reports, "Devaluing a currency," one senior Federal Reserve official once told me, "is like peeing in bed. It feels good at first, but pretty soon it becomes a real mess."

I think the problems that Brazil, China and Japan have are a lot more serious. It is going to take a big diaper!

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