Investment Banking

An investment broker is a person or institution who conducts investment transactions on behalf of a client. Often, an individual broker works for a large brokerage firm, like Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley. You work with this person to buy and sell investments. This is what’s known as a regular broker. You may also find broker-resellers who act as intermediaries between a client and a larger broker instead of managing investments directly with a client.

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Central Bank Intervention

Sometimes the value of a currency can inflict undue harm on an economy so much so that the nation’s central bank feels the need to step in and directly influence the value in its favor. For instance, a nation that is dependent upon exports, like Japan, doesn’t want to see its currency gain too much value.

To counteract their currency appreciating wildly, central banks can exert their influence by flooding the market with their currency by releasing previously unavailable monies (reserves) and making them available to the public. The increase in the amount of currency available dilutes the value of the money already available and the currency naturally devalues.

Central Bank Interest Rates

On a macro level, there is no larger influence in exchange rate values than central banks and the interest-rate decisions they make. In a general sense, if a central bank is raising interest rates, that means that their economy is growing and they are optimistic about the future.

If they are cutting interest rates that means their economy is falling on hard times and they are skeptical of the future. This type of visualization may be overly simplified, but it usually is the way central banks respond to changes in their economies. The complication comes in when traders try to anticipate what the central banks are going to be doing with rates.

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