After a little bit of a lull, the international currency crisis is back with a vengeance. Currencies are collapsing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Turkey and other emerging markets, and central banks are springing into action. It is being hoped that the financial chaos can be confined to emerging markets so that it will not spread to the United States and Europe. But of course the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a massive wave of debt defaults in emerging markets would inevitably have extremely serious consequences all over the planet. It would be difficult to overstate the potential danger that this new crisis poses for all of us. Emerging market economies went on an unprecedented debt binge over the past decade, and a high percentage of those debts were denominated in U.S. dollars. As emerging market currencies collapse, it is going to become nearly impossible to service any debts denominated in U.S. dollars, and that could ultimately mean absolutely enormous losses for international lenders. Our system tends to do fairly well as long as everybody is paying their debts, but once the dominoes begin to tumble things can get messy really quickly.
Let’s start our roundup today with India. While India is currently not in as bad shape as some of the other emerging markets, the truth is that they could get there pretty rapidly if they keep going down this path.
On Thursday, concerns about rising oil prices drove the Indian rupee to a brand new all-time record low…
The Indian rupee fell to a record low on Thursday morning, following a declining trend all year — which economists attributed to rising oil prices, broader emerging market concerns, and strong month-end dollar demand.
It slid to 70.8100 against the dollar, after a previous new low just a day before at 70.475. That marked a 10.97 percent decline since the start of the year.
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