Top Stories
Top Stories

Britain wins currency wars with one vote: Ex-Fed's Fisher

Brits come out ahead after Brexit: Richard Fisher

The United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union served to devalue the pound at a time when many world powers have been spending trillions to weaken their currencies to give them an advantage on trade, former Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said Wednesday.

"The British were able to achieve what [European Central Bank President Mario Draghi] and everyone else have been trying to achieve through just incredible quantitative easing. They devalued their currency, " Fisher said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Their trade position has suddenly been dramatically improved in what some people say are currency wars."

While the pound has moved somewhat higher after the Brexit declines, the currency has fallen nearly 11 percent against the dollar and about 8.5 percent against the euro since the results of the referendum were released.

A decline in Britain's currency makes goods sold by U.K. companies overseas cheaper, which can give them a pricing advantage over their foreign competitors.

As for the knee-jerk plunge in global stocks following the June 23 Brexit vote, Fisher said: "I think this was a market priced to perfection. You had a tripwire. People went berserk on the tripwire. Now things are rationalized out."

The FTSE-100 in London, back in a bull market, was up about 5.5 percent since the Brexit vote, nearing record highs set last July.

That's more than double the gains over the same period in the Dow Jones industrial average and the , which this week surpassed their May 2015 all-time high closes.

"Brexit [fear] is gone. It's now been digested," Fisher said. "I think Britain comes out a ahead on this."

Many economists disagree, arguing a nasty U.K. divorce from the EU could lead to a British recession.

Fisher, known for his contrarian views, served as head of the Dallas Fed for a decade before retiring in 2015. Earlier in his career, he was deputy U.S. trade representative during Bill Clinton's presidency.