When Housewives Lost in Currency Market
In Japan, women too lost a lot in the credit crisis that shook the world of the currency speculators.
Here is the excerpt of the news:
TOKYO, Sept. 15 — Since the credit crisis started shaking the world financial markets this summer, many professional traders have taken big losses. Another, less likely group of investors has, too: middle-class Japanese homemakers who moonlight as amateur currency speculators.
Ms. Itoh is one of them. Ms. Itoh, a homemaker in the central city of Nagoya, did not want her full name used because her husband still does not know. After cleaning the dinner dishes, she would spend her evenings buying and selling British pounds and Australian dollars.
When the turmoil struck the currency markets last month, Ms. Itoh spent a sleepless week as market losses wiped out her holdings. She lost nearly all her family’s $100,000 in savings.
“I wanted to add to our savings, but instead I got in over my head,” Ms. Itoh, 36, said.
Tens of thousands of married Japanese women ventured into online currency trading in the last year and a half, playing the markets between household chores or after tucking the children into bed. While the overwhelmingly male world of traders and investors here mocked them as kimono-clad “Mrs. Watanabes,” these women collectively emerged as a powerful force, using Japan’s vast wealth to sway prices and confound economists.
Many bought and sold stakes worth into the millions of dollars through margin trading, a potentially lucrative but risky form of trading that uses borrowed money.
Until the credit crisis, which began with troubles in the American mortgage market, the value of foreign currencies traded online by private Japanese citizens, including women, averaged $9.1 billion a day — almost a fifth of all foreign exchange trading worldwide during trading hours in Tokyo, said Kazuhiro Shirakura, an analyst at the Yano Research Institute in Tokyo.
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Labels: Currency Trading