home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |
The Case of Hillary and the Vanity Mirror The New "Time": Big and Brawny?

print view

Japanese Day Traders Try "Carry" Trade

by Christopher Chantrill
March 12, 2007 at 11:34 am

REMEMBER 1999-2000?  THAT was the heyday of the day traders, amateurs trying their hand at making money in the stock market during their coffee breaks at work.  It was an early warning of the NASDAQ meltdown: when the little guy gets in, it’s time to head for the exits.

It’s happened before.  In 1929 Joe Kennedy (yes that Joe Kennedy) reckoned it was time to get out of the market when his shoe-shine boy started giving him stock tips.

It’s deja vu all over again.  In Friday’s Wall Street Journal Yuka Hayashi writes about "Japanese Addiction: Currency Bets" (sub. required).  A lot of Japanese small investors are borrowing yen to buy foreign currency.  In other words, they are engaging in the "carry" trade just like the big boys in the hedge funds.

Only, of course, we are probably in the last days of the "carry" trade.  It worked so long as people could borrow yen at nearly zero percent interest and then use the proceeds to buy other currencies and get five percent on their money.

But notice what happens if the yen goes up.  That means that the other currency goes down.  If it goes down by five percent or more, the investor is under water.

Take the case of Naomi Kashiwazaki.  Hayashi writes:

She trades currencies from her small apartment in Tokyo’s suburbs.  She started about a year and a half ago to supplement the income from her online store... In recent months, she has earned an average profit of $8,600 per month.

But probably not in the last month, for since March 1 the yen has suddenly risen by about four percent against the dollar.

This sounds like something that is going to end in tears. 


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion

Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

mysql close


©2007 Christopher Chantrill