1980 年代初期，美國財政赤字劇增，美國希望通過美元貶值來增加產品的出口競爭力。同一時間，日本經濟實力起飛，取代美國成為全球最大債權國。1985 年，美國覺得再這樣下去不行，便邀請日本、西德、法國和英國的財政部長和央行行長來到紐約「廣場飯店」喝茶，請各國出手干預外匯市場，讓美元貶值。各國答應了，共同簽定《廣場協議》。
In the early 1980s, the U.S. fiscal deficit grew dramatically, and the U.S. hoped to enhance the export competitiveness of its products through the depreciation of the U.S. dollar. At the same time, Japan’s economy took off and replaced the United States as the world’s biggest creditor nation. In 1985, feeling this would not work anymore, the United States invited finance ministers and central bank governors of Japan, West Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to the Plaza Hotel in New York City for tea, asking these countries to intervene foreign exchange markets to depreciate the dollar. The countries agreed and signed the Plaza Accord.
After the Plaza Accord, the U.S. dollar did begin to depreciate, but the financial market also tumbled into chaos as a result. Japanese people suddenly became very wealthy due to the rapid appreciation of the Japanese currency. Under the delusional prosperity, real estate and prices shot up dramatically across Japan, and the increase far exceeded the actual increase of Japan’s GDP. At the same time, Japanese exports were hit hard by the appreciation. The bubble finally burst in the early 1990s, and Japan’s Lost Decades ensued.