Yen to Reach Record Amid ‘Downfall’ of West, Sakakibara Says
August 15, 2011, 11:30 PM EDT
Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) — The yen may climb past the record it reached in March as the fading influence of the U.S. and Europe in the global economy spurs investor flight to haven assets, said Eisuke Sakakibara, formerly Japan’s top currency official.
The balance between QE and Treasury supply will begin to shift in July. The underlying bid it has provided for stocks and Treasuries will begin to fade.
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The U.S. economy has yet to overcome the fallout from the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 and now faces the risk of a double-dip recession, Sakakibara said in an interview yesterday. The U.S. will enter a “lost decade” as Japan experienced in the 1990s, while Europe’s debt crisis may deepen, he said.
“What we’re seeing is the downfall of the West,” Sakakibara, 70, said in Tokyo. “Dollar weakness will be unavoidable, and the U.S. will likely tolerate that.”
Japan’s currency climbed to 76.31 per dollar on Aug. 11, approaching its postwar high of 76.25 reached on March 17, as investors sought a refuge in the wake of Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis and a downgrade of the U.S. by Standard & Poor’s. The yen traded as strong as 76.30 on Aug. 1 and then weakened past 80 on Aug. 4 when Japan carried out its third intervention in currency markets in the past 12 months.