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How the U.S. is winning, and Japan losing, the ‘currency war’

A woman counts her U.S. dollar bills.


Société Générale has taken an interesting look at the "currency war" and found that the United States is winning.

It's not an all-out war, of course, and the United States will say it hasn't even fired a shot. It has only tried to juice its recovery through several rounds of quantitative easing, an asset-buying program that just happens to be greenback-negative.

Japan, on the other hand, is desperately trying to weaken its yen to help its exporters. But, as Société Générale's chief of foreign exchange, Kit Juckes, says, Tokyo is losing big time.

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Mr. Juckes plotted the exports of the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and France amid all the current talk about a currency war and moves by some countries to hold their currencies down.

Firstly, I put a chart of U.K. and U.S. exports to show how, in 2012, the U.K. lagged behind, as dependence on exporting to Europe hurt," Mr. Juckes said today.

"My argument was that the weak pound policy has sent up inflation and done relatively little to help exports and the result of the poor trade performance will be more sterling selling," he said in his report.

"So far, so silly and so sterling-negative."

Mr. Juckes then plotted Germany, and determined that the United States, by outpacing the engine of Europe's growth, is "winning the currency war," he said.

"Then I added Japan, and concluded Japan is losing the currency war in a really big way," Mr. Juckes said.

"And finally, I added a line on French exports to show how French exports are struggling. The U.K., on this basis, is doing a lot better than their nearest economic neighbour."

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For his findings, see the accompanying infographic or click here.

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