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Foreign Currency Financial Reporting from Euro to Yen to Yuan: A Guide to Fundamental Concepts and Practical Applications by Robert Rowan

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CHAPTER 2

Exchange Rate Tables

Getting from Yen to Euro without Losing Your Way

Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series. Every general law only a particular fact of some more general law presently to disclose itself.1

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do cryptograms and keys have to do with exchange rates and exchange rate tables? Perhaps nothing. The complexity in the field of cryptography far exceeds the complexity of working with currencies and exchange rates. However, if you were given 83 yen (JPY) and asked to provide the equivalent number of euro (EUR), what would you do? The 83 yen represents the cryptogram in this analogy to cryptography, and the exchange rate table provides the key. Using the key, the proper euro answer can be calculated. Without the exchange rate table, the 83 yen might as well be an encrypted message, since the task of finding the correct euro value cannot be accomplished.

Of course in cryptography the purpose of the key is to increase the difficulty of computation so that the cryptogram cannot be deciphered. Exchange rate tables, by contrast, exist for the opposite purpose. They also reduce risk of inconsistency in how the data are calculated and reported. Chapter 3 provides more details regarding some inherent issues in the calculation of exchange rates along with some that users introduce.

THE FOUNDATION AND CAVEATS

Chapter 1 began the construction of an exchange rate table. Recall that Table 1.3 contained the six most actively traded currency ...

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