Teaming Up to Rescue the Dollar

Central bankers spend a bundle to boost a fragile currency

For Currency Trader Randall Holland, the first working day of 1988 started last Monday with an urgent 2 a.m. phone call from Tokyo. Jolted out of bed, Holland, who works for Wall Street's Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, listened groggily as an excited colleague in Japan reported that the U.S. dollar was moving in a sharp and startling new direction: upward. Skeptical of the currency's mysterious strength, Holland gave orders to sell part of the firm's dollar holdings, then went back to sleep. At 4 a.m. the phone jangled again. This time it was a London colleague calling to report that the...

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