A Trader's Introduction to the Yen, Part II 
A Trader's Introduction to the Yen, Part II
by InformedTrades
Video Lecture 48 of 61
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Date Added: May 7, 2017

Lecture Description


In our last lesson we began our discussion on on the Japanese Yen, with a look at the history of the Japanese economy, including the build up of what became one of the biggest asset price bubbles in history. In today's lesson we are going to continue this discussion by examining what happened from the early 1990's on from a monetary policy and economic standpoint, so we can understand the fundamental foundation on which the Yen sits today.

In 1989 the Bank of Japan (BOJ) began to raise interest rates, and the government instituted limits on total bank lending to the real estate sector, to try and reign in speculation which was driving stock and real estate prices to astronomically high levels. While the central bank was hoping to simply take the foot of the gas and tap the breaks on the economy, unfortunately the markets reaction was drastic, resulting in a stock market and real estate crash starting in 1990.
This was a "perfect storm" so to speak for the Japanese financial system and economy, as the effects of decline in real estate and stock market prices started a chain reaction, which reverberated throughout the economy and whole financial system. The first and perhaps most important thing to understand here, is that the economic slowdown, combined with drastic falls in the stock and real estate markets, caused the financial position of Japanese banks to rapidly deteriorate.

Much of the speculation that was sending real estate prices so high was being driven by loans from Japanese banks, which took the land they were making the loan on as collateral. As the quality of the loan was thus tied to the value of the real estate backing that loan, as real estate prices fell off a cliff so did the quality of the bank's loan portfolio's.

Secondly, large Japanese institutions such as banks cooperate with one another in Japan, and as a result of this Japanese banks hold large quantities of each others stock. Holdings of stock are considered an asset for the banks and were included in the banks capital numbers, which basically define how financially solid a banks balance sheet is. As the value of these stock holdings tumbled lower, so did the bank's capital position, putting further pressure on the stability of the individual banks in Japan, and the Japanese Banking System as a whole.

Thirdly, as the economy slowed as a result of all this, the individuals and corporations who had received loans began to have a harder time making their payments, further deteriorating the quality of the bank's loans, and stability of the banking system.

At least partially as a result of weak corporate governance, most will argue that Japanese banks did little to adjust to the financial difficulties they now faced, instead preferring to wait for stock and real estate prices to move back towards their pre bubble bursting levels. The government also did little to address the problem until 1995, when it became clear that without government intervention massive bank failures would result.

This history is important to us as traders for two reasons:

1. Reforms aimed at returning the stability of the Japanese financial system are still ongoing today, and it is these financial and structural reforms that traders watch closely when determining the fundamental direction of the Japanese Economy.

2. Japanese consumers, many of whom had lost large sums of money in the real estate and stock markets, lowered consumer spending significantly, resulting in prices actually starting to decrease towards the end of the 1990's, something which is known as deflation.

While many argue that the Bank of Japan acted too late they did eventually respond to the economic weakness with interest rate cuts driving interest rates in Japan down from over 8% in 1990, all the way to zero percent in 1999. While the Bank of Japan has increased interest rates in Japan to .5% since then, this is still by far the lowest rate of any of the the major economies of the world. As a result of this it is very cheap to borrow Japanese Yen, making it the primary funding currency for the carry trades, which we learned about in module 3 of this course. One cannot fully understand and anticipate movements in the Japanese Yen, without a full understanding of the carry trade, so if you have not done so already I encourage you to go back and review the three lesson series in Module 3 on the carry trade.

Course Index

  1. An Overview of the Forex Market
  2. The Difference Between Over the Counter (OTC) and Exchange-Based Markets
  3. Who Really Controls the Forex Market?
  4. The Role of the Retail Forex Broker
  5. How Central Banks Move the Forex Market
  6. How Banks, Hedge Funds, and Corporations Move Currencies
  7. A Breakdown of the Forex Trading Day
  8. Forex Trading - Characteristics of the Main Currencies
  9. Setting Up Your Forex Trading Software
  10. Forex Trading - How to Read a Currency Quote
  11. Forex Trading - Understanding Currency Rate Movements
  12. Forex Trading - Understanding the Bid/Ask Spread
  13. How to Place Your First Forex Trade
  14. How to Determine Your Position Size in the Forex Market
  15. Forex Trading - Pips and Fractional Pip Pricing
  16. How to Calculate Forex Trading Profits and Losses
  17. An Introduction to Leverage in Trading
  18. How Trading on Margin Works
  19. How to Calculate Leverage in the Forex Market
  20. How to Calculate Leverage in the Forex Market Part 2
  21. How to Place a Market Order in the Forex Market
  22. How to Place a Stop Loss and Take Profit Order in Forex
  23. How to Place A Pending Entry Order in the Forex Market
  24. How Rollover Works in Forex Trading
  25. How Rollover Works in Forex Trading Part 2
  26. Free Forex Charts Userguide
  27. What Moves the Forex Market? - Trade Flows
  28. How Capital Flows Move the Forex Market
  29. The Current Account: How Forex Traders Can Use it to Identify Opportunities
  30. Interpreting the Capital Account and Measuring Capital Flows
  31. Fundamentals that Move Currencies - Balance of Payments
  32. How Interest Rates Move the Forex Market Part 1
  33. How Interest Rates Move the Forex Market Part 2
  34. How To Trade the Carry Trade Strategy Part 1
  35. How To Trade the Carry Trade Strategy Part 2
  36. How To Trade the Carry Trade Strategy Part 3
  37. Fundamental Analysis Vs. Technical Analysis in Forex
  38. Forex Trading Fundamentals Quiz - Test Your Knowledge
  39. Why the US Dollar is Still King
  40. Determining the Fate of the US Dollar
  41. Determining the Fate of the US Dollar Part II
  42. Determining the Fate of the US Dollar, Part III
  43. Economic Releases that Move the US Dollar
  44. A Trader's Introduction to the Euro
  45. A Trader's Introduction to the Euro, Part II
  46. A Trader's Introduction to the Euro, Part III
  47. A Trader's Introduction to the Yen
  48. A Trader's Introduction to the Yen, Part II
  49. A Trader's Introduction to the Japanese Yen, Part III
  50. A Trader's Introduction to the British Pound
  51. A Trader's Introduction to the Swiss Franc
  52. A Trader's Introduction to the Canadian Dollar
  53. A Trader's Introduction to the Australian Dollar
  54. A Trader's Introduction to the New Zealand Dollar
  55. Why Choosing a Forex Broker is so Confusing
  56. Choosing a Forex Broker: Regulation and Financial Stability
  57. Choosing a Forex Broker Part III: Transaction Costs
  58. Choosing a Forex Broker, Part IV: Technology & Add-ons
  59. Choosing a Forex Broker: Evaluating Customer Service
  60. An Introduction to Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)
  61. An Introduction to DailyFX Plus

Course Description

This 61-video series is an introduction and in-depth look at the forex market, including how to place trades, the fundamentals of the forex market, profiles of the main currency pairs, and factors to consider when choosing a forex broker.

This is a continuation of The Basics of Trading course by Informed Trades.


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