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The amazing and unstoppable collapsing yen

TOKYO – There’s something surreal about the debate at Bank of Japan (BOJ) headquarters over whether to jump into markets to support the yen.

Japan’s central bank faces the most intense pressure in more than two decades to intervene in currency trading, but unlike previous pressure campaigns, the BOJ isn’t being prodded to weaken the yen but rather to rescue it from 24-year lows.

Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s reluctance to act is also based on unique considerations. It’s not that he worries about sending the wrong message to traders or rewarding bad behavior. Rather, Kuroda frets steps to stabilize the yen won’t work, potentially triggering even bigger waves of selling.

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