Economics Problem Set Need Answered

1. Using any website like the Wall Street Journal or the, obtain quotes for foreign exchange rates for the Yen versus the US dollar, and answer the following questions (6 points)


a) What is the spot exchange rate for the US dollar vis-à-vis the yen?

b) Suppose one year ago, the spot exchange rate for the yen was ¥100/$. Comparing that to today’s quote, has the Japanese yen appreciated or depreciated?

c) Suppose you export 100,000,000 (100 million) yen worth of goods to Japan today (what is that worth at Monday’s spot rate?) But your buyer will make the payment only 90 days from now. Suppose further that the

buyer will make the payment in Japanese yen only.

 Suppose the actual exchange rate for the yen, 90 days from now, turns out to be ¥100/$. How many dollars will you get 90 days from now?

 Suppose the actual exchange rate for the yen, 90 days from now, turns out to be ¥120/$. How many dollars will you get 90 days from now?

 Suppose you are like me, a conservative old man, who does not like this exchange rate uncertainty. Is there anything you could do to get rid of the uncertainty?





2. Two countries, Britain and the U.S. produce just one good, beef. Suppose that the price of beef in U.K. is £2.80 per pound, and in US, it is $3.70 per pound. (6 points)

(a) What should the $/£ spot exchange rate be, according to PPP theory?

(b) Suppose that the price of beef is expected to rise to £3.10 in the U.K. and to $4.65 in the US by the same time next year. What should the one year forward $/£ exchange rate?

(c) Given your answers to parts (a) and (b), and given that current interest rate in U.K. is 10%, what would you expect current U.S. interest rates to be?






3. Consider a Mexican firm that knits sweaters for sale to a U.S. department store. The firm incurs total costs of 16 pesos/sweater, and sells the sweaters to the department store for $5 per sweater. The exchange rate is 4 pesos/$.

a) What is the firm’s markup per sweater as a percentage of revenues? (1 point)

b) If the peso is devalued 20%, what is the new value of the peso? (1 point)

c) If the firm keeps dollar prices constant and peso costs constant, what is the markup per sweater as a percentage of revenue after the devaluation? (2 points)

d) If the firm decides to keep the gross margin per sweater constant (at 20%), would sales expand or decline? Why? What would the new dollar price be after devaluation? (2 points)





4. Suppose GM is considering buying a plant in Hungary. All sales will be to Hungarian customers and denominated in forints. The projected returns and investments are as follows:

 Purchase price 30 billion forints

 Additional investment $50 million, all imported from U.S.

 Projected Hungarian sales 45 billion forints

 Projected earnings 4.5 billion forints

 Exchange rate 300 forints/$

a) What is the total investment in dollars? (1 point)

b) Once the plant is up and running, what is the annual percentage return on investment? (1 point)

c) If the forint is devalued 25%, what is the new exchange rate? (1 point)

d) If this 25% devaluation was made after the purchase and additional investment were completed, what is the new ROI? (1 point)

e) Instead of selling to the Hungarian market only, suppose all sales were exports, priced in hard currency ($), yielding the same 4.5 billion forints earnings (at the original 300 forints/$ exchange rate.) If the 25%

devaluation now occurred, what would happen to the plant’s profit margins? (2 points)



5. Is the US trade deficit always a bad thing? Many current US politicians including our incoming President advocate forcing China to strengthen its Yuan in order to help reduce the US trade deficit. Based on the readings

in the course and your own analysis, is this a good strategy? Would it work? Why or why not? (4 points)



6. Suppose that a decade ago, the Japanese yen stood at 120 Yen/$; Today, 10 years later, the Japanese yen is trading at 100 Yen/$. Consider the case of the heavy earth-moving equipment industry, consisting of essentially

two major players globally, US-based Caterpillar and Japan-based Komatsu.

a. What has happened to the Japanese Yen and how does it affect the relative competitive positions of Caterpillar and Komatsu? Explain your answer clearly.

b. How should this affect the strategic behavior of the two firms? You may wish to answer this question first from the short-term perspective, and then from the long-term perspective. (4 points)




7. Please see attached article from this week’s NY Times and comment analytically on three aspects a. Do you agree with the fundamental premise of the article b. Based on the readings in your text, how should firms and investors respond generally to these events c. Relevant to your current or past experience in any specific industry, how will your firm be affected. (4




8. Your textbook and one of the readings describes how culture and language add to the costs of doing international business. Pick your current or previous company and pick any country other than the United States to evaluate

how the specific dimensions of culture identified in your readings will affect the cost of doing business in that

country. Be precise about how the differences in culture between the home firm and the host firm will influence

this cost. You can choose any four dimensions of culture described in your book. (4 points)

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