By on February 27, 2012

Today, Nissan had invited distinguished guests, from the Governor of Kanagawa province all the way to the chief of the local fire department, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Nissan Technical  Center. Nissan’s main R&D hub is a city of 9,500, nestled into the foothills of Mount Fuji and surrounded by hills that keep it away from prying eyes. To get there, you must drive through a tunnel. Let’s see what we find here …

The not so distinguished members of the media totally ignore occasion and location, and ask Nissan CEO his favorite question: What does Carlos Ghosn think of yen and dollar?

That gets the CEO going!

“Usually, a strong currency is a reflection of a strong economy, or a growing economy.”

“We see nothing like this in Japan.  There is nothing that can justify economically the Japanese yen having appreciated so much for the last three years compared to the dollar and compared to the Euro.”

But then, didn’t the yen stop growing a few days ago? On February 2, the dollar bought only 76 yen, yesterday, the dollar fetched 81.6 yen. Isn’t that a positive sign?

“What we are seeing now is the beginning of what I hope should be logically a correction which should continue and bring the yen in more neutral territory.”

“I won’t say favorable territory.”

“The yen is moving from very unfavorable territory, to unfavorable territory, to hopefully neutral territory.”

Actually, while Ghosn talks, the yen regains strength. A dollar buys only 81 yen as Ghosn says this. How much (or little) is the Japanese yen worth, thinks the CEO?

“The neutral territory is around 100 yen to the dollar.”

As Ghosn says this, the yen retreats!


Ghosn keeps talking about his favorite topic.

“There are a lot of signals that the yen is going to weaken.”

“Hopefully, this trend will be amplified and supported by the authorities in order to help companies to cope with this headwind that had been hitting us for the last three years.”

What was that? The authorities?

The market hears that Ghosn won’t do it alone, but counts on governments to bring the yen into “neutral territory,” and immediately, the yen starts appreciating again.

As Carlos Ghosn exits stage left, the yen is back doing its old thing. It is getting stronger.

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