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Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Credit Crunch

The ongoing, so called, "credit crunch" may well have repercussions in areas not immediately apparent.

Much of the borrowing used by people/companies for their investments in the bundled debt products that have been over valued, has been financed using cheap borrowed Yen.

This is known as the Yen Carry Trade. Now that the debts are unravelling, so too is the Yen Carry Trade; this has consequences for the Yen itself, as companies liquidate their positions and pay back their Yen borrowings.

The cost of borrowing Yen is rising, as such those trades and investments that were once financially viable are no longer viable.

One area where there has been heavy use of Yen borrowings, both by companies and Japanese housewives, is that of currency speculation in the Turkish Lira. It is very likely that, if the crunch continues, the Turkish Lira will collapse as speculators pull out.

This in turn will severely damage the profits of the Japanese housewives, thus negatively impacting the Japanese economy.

The lesson here is, don't invest what you can't afford to lose.

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