Currencies: Money-changers at bay

Posted: February 5, 2015 in economy
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Capitalism’s unlikely heroes

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Monetary policies and falling inflation are behind currency turmoil

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EARLY trade was conducted in whatever currency was available. Coins circulated across borders in a bewildering variety of forms, creating the need for middlemen to value one token against another. These were the “money-changers” whom Jesus threw out of the temple.
Two thousand years later the foreign-exchange markets are still in turmoil. In January the Swiss National Bank abandoned its policy of capping the Swiss franc against the euro, catching many traders and investors by surprise. As the franc rose by 30% in a few minutes, many foreign-exchange brokers lost money (one went bust) and a hedge-fund manager, Everest Capital, lost so much that it had to close its main fund. Eastern Europeans who had taken out mortgages in Swiss francs also suffered—so much so that Croatia voted to peg its …

via Economic Crisis


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