Asia’s vast financial institutions are being enlisted to defend currencies

Taiwan’s life insurers and Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) sound like sleepy organisations—hardly the sort to play a role in international markets. But over the past decade they have become vast institutions. They now look after hoards of foreign assets as big as national foreign-exchange reserves (see chart). In the middle of this year, the gpif alone held more than $700bn in foreign bonds and stocks.

As the dollar strengthens, policymakers are looking covetously at these foreign assets. The greenback is up by 16% in 2022 against a basket of currencies. Outside America, depreciation is raising

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