For a few dollars more: Japan banks tackle dollar/yen basis jump

Soaring cross-currency swap prices force dollar funding rethink

Mexican standoff

Since Japan's infamous 'lost decade' of the 1990s, the country's financial landscape has often come to resemble the bleak vision of Italian director Sergio Leone's western movies, with institutions clinging on for survival in an unforgiving environment. Japan's banks, like a posse of gunslingers, have been hunting down the riches of higher-yielding assets in the form of dollar-denominated investments.

But these dollars have proven increasingly hard to come by, as a combination of surging demand

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