How the Aussie Dollar and Indian Rupee weathered a decade of turbulence against the greenback

By Maria Irene
File photo

In a world often dictated by the sway of the US dollar, understanding how various currencies perform over time offers insights into the underlying health of their respective economies. The data for 10-year percentage change vs. the US dollar, as of 9/27/23, is not just a snapshot but also an economic narrative wrapped up in numbers.

The Australian Story: The Australian Dollar (AUD)

Losing 31.7% over the last decade, the Australian Dollar has not fared as well as the INR but stands far from the precipice of devaluation some other currencies are facing. The Australian economy, largely commodities-based, is often tied to the ebbs and flows of global resource demand. This makes the AUD vulnerable to economic shocks and global market sentiments. Australia’s trade relationship with China has also been an influential factor; any cooling in that area tends to reflect in the AUD’s value.

The Asian Perspective: The Indian Rupee (INR)

The Indian Rupee lost 24.7% of its value against the US dollar over the last 10 years. While a decline of nearly a quarter is significant, it is comparatively modest when viewed against the backdrop of currencies like the Venezuelan Bolivar or the Sudanese Pound, which have plummeted by almost 100%. The INR’s relative stability could be attributed to India’s growing economy, diversified export basket, and increasing foreign exchange reserves. However, it’s crucial to remember that this loss in value also signifies increasing import costs and inflationary pressures. The moderation in the loss rate can be attributed to the RBI’s (Reserve Bank of India) monetary policy maneuvers to keep the currency in check.

Comparing INR and AUD

When the AUD and INR are compared, there’s a fascinating tale of two countries trying to navigate the ever-turbulent seas of global finance. The INR has shown resilience through economic diversification and central bank interventions, while the AUD reflects the challenges of dependency on commodity exports and geopolitics.

The Wider Picture

While focusing on AUD and INR provides specific narratives, the list is teeming with other stories. For instance, it’s hard to ignore the near-total collapse of currencies like the Venezuelan Bolivar, or the resilience shown by the Swiss Franc. The data is a testament to a world where economic instabilities are increasingly globalized.

The movements in currency values are not just numbers; they are stories of national struggles, economic policies, global politics, and even survival. While the INR and AUD tell stories of relatively moderate devaluation, they are situated in a much broader, more volatile global context. It’s a world that increasingly shows that no currency is an island, entire of itself; each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

In the game of currencies, the house always wins, but some are losing more than others. As the globe turns, it will be interesting to see how policy shifts, economic fundamentals, and geopolitical developments will play out on this financial stage.

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