Is there currency war? (source: HSBC)
Not everyone subscribes to the currency war theme. For example, the IMF’s chief economist believes talkof a global currency war is “overblown” while Bank of Canada’s governor said there is “no sign of a currency war globally”. The previous governor of the SNB argues that currency weakness is often just a side-effect of central banks seeking to meet their policy mandates. One could have some sympathy for their view. After all, manipulation of currencies by policymakers is hardly a new phenomenon, be it in emerging markets or G10, and currency weakness may simply be a side-effect of the new era of zero interest rates and unconventional easing.
While some of the world is engaged in a currency war, Russia and Chinaare pushing in the opposite direction.The CBR maintains an exchange rate target, but it is being liberalised with a target of a free floating currency by2015. In China, the PBOC has become increasingly ‘hands off’, and the FX regime is becoming more market driven and liberalised. Less activist currencies, notably the EUR, may be the ‘safety valve’ for depreciations elsewhere.
Who are the most active in currency war?