Japan’s stock market is up 9.3% this year (chart 1). But in US dollar terms it’s up only 0.6% (chart 2). As you can see, attempts at currency debasement are not a road to prosperity. Even with extraordinarily loose monetary policy for decades, Japan has not been able to devalue its currency compared to the dollar to boost its flagging economy with cheap exports (chart 3). It’s a quick fix to an economy with structural problems that will eventually be reflected in the stock market (chart 4). It’s a recipe for an economy that’s like a rolling stone—with no direction home (chart 5).
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