Brazil Confirms What Everyone Knows: "A Currency War Has Broken Out"

Tyler Durden's picture

From the FT: "An “international currency war” has broken out, according to Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister, as governments around the globe compete to lower their exchange rates to boost competitiveness." Welcome to the new frontline. It is being played out at every 500x levered FX trade station. No prisoners are taken as those wounded are immediately shot. And the incursions have now entered stocks and bonds. Trading any assets is now retaliation against a central bank somewhere (most typically at Liberty 33 or at the Marriner Eccles building) which is engaged in open warfare against the world's middle class. And yes, the Brazil Central Bank earlier announced that it was heading unto the breach, buying yet more dollars for 1.7094 reais at auction, and has bought as much as $1 billion USD each day for the past two weeks, putting the Japanese intervention from two weeks ago to shame.

From the FT:

Mr Mantega’s comments in São Paulo on Monday follow a series of recent interventions  by central banks, in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in an effort to make their currencies cheaper. China, an export powerhouse, has continued to suppress the value of the renminbi, in spite of pressure from the US  to allow it to rise, while officials from countries ranging from Singapore to Colombia have issued warnings over the strength of their currencies.

We’re in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of currency. This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness,” Mr Mantega said. By publicly asserting the existence of a “currency war”, Mr Mantega has admitted what many policymakers have been saying in private: a rising number of countries see a weaker exchange rate as a way to lift their economies.

A weaker exchange rate makes a country’s exports cheaper, potentially boosting a key source of growth for economies battling to find growth as they emerge from the global downturn.

The proliferation of countries trying to manage their exchange rates down is also making it difficult to co-ordinate the issue in global economic forums.

In spite of Mr Mantega’s recent aggressive public statements, however, Brazil has so far held back from taking any action other than intervening in the local currency spot market.

The central bank bought as much as $1bn a day for much of the past two weeks – about 10 times its daily average in recent months – but this was largely to absorb money entering the country to take part in last week’s $67bn share issue by Petrobras, the national oil company.

We feel sad for the central banks, who apparently don't realize that in this war of attrition there are no losers, and the final outcome is the end of Keynesianism. We hope someone promptly discovers the FX equivalent of the nuke, and a global exchange occurs, as we, for one, can't wait for this most destructive experiment in economic fundamentalism to end already.

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Turd Ferguson's picture

In the race to the fiat bottom, I keep getting this mental image:

However, in my vision #1 is the yen, #2 is the $, #3 is the euro and #4 is the Swissy.

UncleFester's picture

More like this one:

Golden mustard falls behind due to the cap in the face 1980s, loses shoe in the 90s, recovers and takes the lead in 2000.  Green relish dollar tries to cheat in the end but..."face plant, body slam, mustard wins. That's huge."

morkov's picture

in a very broad, idealistic sense, this currency fix is a scam...therefore it's short-term. a game changer should turn this around very soon. countries will close up for "d" market

Hephasteus's picture

Paper cuts!! Bitches!!!

Hephasteus's picture

Awe. You're like a linquistic correctional facility. Where's my orange jumpsuit?

Miles Kendig's picture

Ubefindin'itwityoroll homie  just like the Brazilians.  The joys of the dollar trap.

Sudden Debt's picture

+1 You just got your AAA+ rating from Moody! :)

Al Gorerhythm's picture


Refer to the he/him trick. 

Who is gay?

He is.

To whom is he referring?


The "m" in "him and whom" is a clue for which pronoun to use. 

The question "Who ....... is gay?", can't have the answer, "Him.... is", it has to be "He is" therefore the use of the pronoun "Who" is justified and correct. 

Grammatically speaking, the who/whom conundrum is resolved, when one can decipher the '"subject/object" rule to the "question/statement" clauses of sentences, about said subject/object.

If "He" is the subject of the clause, then "who" is used. If it was "him" that I was referring to then the clause refers to the object, hence "Whom" 

Hephasteus's picture

"you are gay"

Did you wave a magic wand while you wrote that because I'm feeling pretty gay right now. I think i'm gonna goatse.

MsCreant's picture

You knew someone would google that, didn't cha? Click "Eh" for full effect.

Ya know, none of that has anything to do with gay. Just sayin'.

spinone's picture

If you're going to Google, may as well look up vajazzle.

mtomato2's picture

You will never, ever, ever, ever be forgiven for that...

NOTW777's picture

absolutely and silver and some PGMs and some PM equities

Pining for the Fjords's picture

"Got gold"   Errr, no. I wouldn't touch that barbaric relic, a commodity no different than soybeans or diapers.

Please take note of this fact, government watchers and list makers monitoring the most subversive financial site on the internet.  No gold at here at all. None. Move along.

Jake Green's picture

I will be surprised if gold saves you. Soybeans maybe, but the have's are greatly outnumbered by the have-not's.

BobPaulson's picture

Pax Americana man, how f***ed is that? They make their product (greenbacks) as valueless as they can, and everybody else buys them as fast as possible to keep their value up. Again, the question is how long can it last.

Eternal Student's picture

Probably for quite a while still. But in the meantime, the Gonzo Economic predictions of an imminent bout of hyperinflation due to a loss of confidence in the dollar isn't looking good. It looks like there's lots of interest in keeping the dollar higher than the local currency. The name of the game right now is exports, and to get beggar-thy-neighbor, we're seeing cheapen-thy-currency.

midtowng's picture

Let's call this what it really is - a trade war. Not a currency war.

Devaluing the currencies are a just a method used to gain trade advantage.

Al Gorerhythm's picture

..... and when that doesn't do the trick, sanctions and protectionism will be the only option left. That's the only way that manufacturing jobs can be enticed back to the Western hemisphere. Unless of course we are willing to accept the wages and living standards of the standard third world agrarian village dweller.

goldmiddelfinger's picture

All day I'm waiting for a reaction to the QE9 news that the Fed will gas the balance sheet by another $500MM. It even made CNBS and nothin nada zip. It's meshugass. Maybe it's the effect of the real QE manipulation.....Quarter End

Tiberius's picture

How long does the currency war last until all fiat currencies are worthless?  Anyone have a guess?  Years?

tmosley's picture

Years? Doubtful.  Once it really gets going, it will be over in days or hours.  We've probably got a matter of months until it really gets going.  But this is the result of the actions of a very small group of people, and as such the timing is unpredictable.  It could happen tomorrow, five minutes from now, or a month from now.'s picture

What if they had a currency war and nobody came? (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink)...bitchez!

MsCreant's picture

How about if one steps up to bat and backs their currency with Gold (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink)?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We (meaning the United Fascist States of America) would invade them.

merehuman's picture

china appears well positioned for that gold based currency. Our president is not encouraging us to buy gold or silver , but China is.


Invade China... lol , right away

Hephasteus's picture

We can't. Jackie Chan and Jet Li taught them all karate.

Hulk's picture

I believe that would be a Chinese martial art Hep...BTW, they can also fly, which the japanese haven't perfected yet!

Clancy's picture

Encouraging them to buy, yes, but the US still has far more Gold than China does.

goldmiddelfinger's picture

Prechter on w Maria at 3:30...gotta love it