2009 is the year of the Regulator: Japan caps Forex leverage at 50 and then at 25 times the collateral

Yesterday I reported that the Israeli regulators started to crack down on Forex and now Reuters reports that the Japanese FSA has

leverageYesterday I reported that the Israeli regulators started to crack down on Forex and now Reuters reports that the Japanese FSA has decided on the proposed leverage reduction. This has been a matter which has long been discussed by the local regulators. US regulators have also recently started to take an interest in leverage reduction, according to Tom Herod.

The Japanese regulators decided to cap the leverage at 50 times the collateral beginning this month (August ’09) and to reduce it even further to 25 times a year after.

Join the iFX EXPO Asia and discover your gateway to the Asian Markets

Unfortunately the Japanese regulator has now joined the US one in its unnecessary requirement decisions. Out of all the topics that should really be governed in Forex, the leverage is certainly not the most important one. While the 1:400 leverage is insane and really works against the trader, the 1:100 leverage is the typical capital markets leverage for financial instruments,such as options. These effectively cut sophisticated investors in hedging transactions.

Suggested articles

Blockchain Key Players to Gather in Bloconomic Expo 2019Go to article >>

It would have been much better if the Japanese FSA limited the leverage to unsophisticated investors only, while allowing the sophisticated ones (who must prove their level of sophistication through testing) trade at their own will. I  agree with Milton Friedman on this in believing that the markets govern themselves more effectively on their own than with governmental intervention.

The latest move will certainly undermine the growth of this massive Japanese industry, which might even be larger than the US one. I have contended  that Saxo Bank made a big mistake by setting up shop in Japan right before the aforementioned regulation (which has long been known) will take effect. IG Markets, which recently acquired a large Japanese broker, reported that the local market is becoming more and more competitive (reading between the lines this means that the growth is decreasing).

Like this post? Vote for it on Forex Factory!

Got a news tip? Let Us Know