JON O. NEWMAN, Circuit Judge:
This appeal presents issues concerning currency conversion in the context of enforcing a foreign judgment. Specifically, the question is whether a judgment debtor may satisfy an American judgment that was based on an English judgment by paying the amount of the English judgment in pounds. Defendant-appellant Ronald LaBow appeals from an order of the District Court for the Southern District of New York (John E. Sprizzo, Judge), 613 F.Supp. 335, denying his motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) for relief from the American judgment, previously entered by the late Judge Henry F. Werker in favor of plaintiff-appellee Competex, S.A. For reasons that follow, we affirm.
LaBow, a New Yorker, lost a substantial sum of money through speculation in copper on the London Metal Exchange. His broker, Competex, a Swiss corporation, satisfied these debts. Competex sued LaBow for breach of contract in the English High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, and obtained a default judgment for £ 187,929.82, which included principal, interest, and costs.
Competex then brought this diversity action to enforce the English judgment. Following a bench trial, Judge Werker held that the English judgment was entitled to recognition and enforcement. Because determination of the date on which to convert a foreign currency debt into dollars is a substantive question, see Vishipco Line v. Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., 660 F.2d 854, 865-67 (2d Cir.1981), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 976, 103 S.Ct. 313, 74 L.Ed.2d 291 (1982), Judge Werker was compelled to apply New York law. New York uses the breach-day conversion rule, see Dougherty v. Equitable Life Assurance Society, 266 N.Y. 71, 193 N.E. 897 (1934); Parker v. Hoppe, 257 N.Y. 333, 178 N.E. 550 (1931); Richard v. American Union Bank, 241 N.Y. 163, 149 N.E. 338 (1925); Hoppe v. Russo-Asiatic Bank, 235 N.Y. 37, 138 N.E. 497 (1923); Brill v. Chase Manhattan Bank, 14 A.D.2d 852, 220 N.Y.S.2d 903 (1st Dep't 1961); Librairie Hachette, S.A. v. Paris Book Center, Inc., 62 Misc.2d 873, 309 N.Y.S.2d 701 (Sup.Ct.N.Y.Co.1970). But see John S. Metcalf Co. v. Mayer, 213 A.D. 607, 211 N.Y.S. 53 (1st Dep't 1925) (applying the judgment-day rule); Sirie v. Godfrey, 196 A.D. 529, 188 N.Y.S. 52 (1st Dep't 1921) (same).
In applying the breach-day rule, Judge Werker reasoned that Competex's American claim was based on the English judgment rather than on the underlying contract. Competex's American claim had therefore accrued upon the date of entry of the English judgment, and Judge Werker applied the conversion rate prevailing on that date: £ 1 = $2.20. He entered judgment for $583,201.78, which included interest and a fee award pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(g).
The pound depreciated substantially relative to the dollar between the dates of the English and American judgments. On the date of the American judgment, the conversion rate was: £ 1 = $1.50. The pound continued to depreciate. As a result, LaBow moved, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), for a clarification of the American judgment and a declaration that he could satisfy the American judgment by paying the underlying English judgment in pounds. While this motion was pending, LaBow borrowed the necessary funds and paid the English judgment, with interest, in pounds. Judge Sprizzo denied LaBow's Rule 60(b) motion and held that the American judgment could be satisfied only by paying the dollar amount specified in that judgment. He credited LaBow's payment against the American judgment at the conversion rate prevailing on the date of payment: £ 1 = $1.20. This calculation left a balance owing on the American judgment of approximately $236,000.
Because of the procedural posture of this case, we are faced with a narrow issue: whether Judge Sprizzo's denial of LaBow's Rule 60(b) motion was proper. Rule 60(b) is not a substitute for appeal. LaBow may not relitigate the bases for the enforcing judgment entered by Judge Werker. See Donovan v. Sovereign Security, Ltd., 726 F.2d 55, 60 (2d Cir.1984); Daily Mirror, Inc. v. New York News, Inc., 533 F.2d 53, 56 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 862, 97 S.Ct. 166, 50 L.Ed.2d 140 (1976). Specifically, LaBow may not challenge Judge Werker's application of the breach-day conversion rule. However, review of the Rule 60(b) denial requires some exploration of the currency conversion problem because determination of a state's rule for deeming enforcing judgments satisfied turns on the rationale for the state's currency conversion rule.
For illustrative purposes, the following example will be helpful.
If the English judgment is entitled to enforcement, a state court applying New York's breach-day rule would enter judgment for $1, in accordance with the conversion rate prevailing on the date the English judgment debt became due. The asserted purpose of this rule is to assure that plaintiff will be made whole by protecting him against fluctuation in relative currency values. See Vishipco Line v. Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., supra, 660 F.2d at 866 n. 7. Thus, had defendant paid plaintiff £ 1 on the date of the English judgment and had plaintiff converted this amount into dollars on that date, plaintiff would be in possession of $1 on the date of the American judgment. On the surface, the breach-day rule appears to do no more than regard
However, the breach-day rule does more than make plaintiff whole. It generously allows him to reap the benefit of appreciation in the value of the pound without risking loss as a result of the pound's depreciation. In our example, plaintiff was insulated from any loss as a result of the pound's depreciation. His right to receive $1 was completely unaffected by the pound's depreciation. However, had the pound appreciated relative to the dollar, so that £ 1 = $1.30, plaintiff would simply have executed on the English judgment. He would receive £ 1, the equivalent of $1.30. Since the original obligation was worth only $1, plaintiff would make $.30 as a result of the pound's appreciation.
Of course, this game of creditor's choice is possible only if the judgment debtor has property in both jurisdictions sufficient to satisfy either judgment. The proposed Restatement of Foreign Relations Law suggests a more extreme rule of creditor's preference that can enable the creditor to benefit from currency fluctuations even if the debtor does not have property in both jurisdictions.
It might be argued that the judgment debtor can avoid these unfavorable consequences by immediately satisfying the first judgment. Indeed, it could be argued that these consequences are fitting punishment for failure to pay debts justly due. However, these arguments assume that the original judgment is valid and enforceable. It might be that the original judgment is arguably not entitled to foreign recognition.
The gamesmanship of the breach-day rule can be avoided by selecting a conversion rule of general application that is neutral between the parties with respect to currency fluctuation. There are three methods by which neutrality can be achieved, depending on whether the original or the enforcing judgment is viewed as primary. If the original judgment is viewed as primary, which seems theoretically superior, neutrality can be achieved, first, by entering the enforcing judgment in the currency of the original jurisdiction (foreign-currency-judgment rule) or, second, by entering the enforcing judgment for an amount of dollars to be determined by converting the original judgment into dollars as of the date of payment (payment-day rule). If the enforcing judgment is viewed as primary, the third method for achieving neutrality is by converting the original judgment into dollars as of the date of the enforcing judgment (judgment-day rule).
Entry of judgment in a foreign currency is allowed in England, see Miliangos v. George Frank (Textiles) Ltd.,  3 All E.R. 801 (H.L.), France, and Germany, see E. Scoles & P. Hay, Conflict of Laws § 24.40 (1982). Despite the obvious appeal of this approach, which preserves the original judgment inviolate and places on both parties the risk of fluctuation in the value of the currency of the original judgment, it has received little support in the United States for a procedural reason. Most American courts have assumed that American judgments must be entered in dollars. This assumption has rested on either common law notions of sovereignty, see Hicks v. Guinness, 269 U.S. 71, 72, 46 S.Ct. 46, 70 L.Ed. 168 (1925); Frontera Transportation Co. v. Abaunza, 271 F. 199, 202 (5th Cir.1921); Liberty National Bank v. Burr, 270 F. 251, 252 (E.D.Pa.1921), or, at least in part, on the now repealed section 20 of the Coinage Act of 1792, see International Silk Guild, Inc. v. Rogers, 262 F.2d 219, 224 (D.C.Cir.1958); Shaw, Savill, Albion & Co. v. The Fredericksburg, 189 F.2d 952, 954 n. 5 (2d Cir.1951). This assumption probably deserves reexamination in light of the repeal of section 20.
American courts wishing to avoid the procedural objections to the foreign-currency-judgment or payment-day rules while choosing a neutral conversion rule may apply the judgment-day rule. See Die Deutsche Bank Filiale Nurnberg v. Humphrey, 272 U.S. 517, 47 S.Ct. 166, 71 L.Ed. 383 (1926); Paris v. Central Chiclera, 193 F.2d 960 (5th Cir.1952); Shaw, Savill, Albion & Co. v. The Fredericksburg, supra; B.V. Bureau Wijsmuller v. United States, 487 F.Supp. 156 (S.D.N.Y.1979), aff'd, 633 F.2d 202 (2d Cir.1980); Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 144 (1971).
If we were free to choose a conversion rule, we would select either the judgment-day or the payment-day rule. However, as noted, we are not free to do so because the conversion question is one of New York law and because we are reviewing only the denial of LaBow's Rule 60(b) motion. Our task is to predict what satisfaction of judgment rule New York would apply.
Bearing in mind the consequences previously discussed of the various possible conversion rules, we believe that New York's choice of the breach-day conversion rule clearly implies that New York would require satisfaction of a New York enforcing judgment by payment of the dollar amount specified in that judgment and would not consider an enforcing judgment satisfied by payment of the amount of the underlying judgment in foreign currency. The breach-day rule protects the judgment creditor against fluctuation in currency values to the point of allowing him to speculate without risk. It would be anomalous to suggest that New York would allow its creditor's preference rule to be undercut by giving the judgment debtor the opportunity to satisfy his New York judgment by paying the underlying judgment in depreciated pounds.
LaBow also contends that our holding is contrary to the general rule of non-merger in a judgment-on-a-judgment case:
Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 18 comment j (1982). The Restatement suggests that the judgment debtor may choose which of the judgments he desires to satisfy. However, the drafters clearly envisioned the context of two judgments within the United States, a context in which the dual currency problem does not arise. Transferring the debtor's choice rule into the international sphere would allow the judgment debtor to speculate without taking any risk. The principal debate in this area has been whether the judgment creditor should be allowed gains from fluctuation without risk (breach-day rule) or whether he should be required to assume the fair risks of speculation (judgment-day rule). However that choice is made, there is no sound basis for selecting a rule of debtor's preference.
Finally, LaBow contends that the District Court's ruling conflicts with the New York Court of Appeals' decision in In re James' Will, supra. In James, a judgment debtor failed to pay a New York judgment. The judgment creditor obtained an enforcing judgment in France. The debtor paid the amount of the French judgment in depreciated francs
Though James is not an opinion of absolute clarity, we believe that both parties misread it. We think the Court of Appeals resolved the satisfaction issue by applying choice of law principles. Since the judgment creditor had chosen to enforce his New York judgment in France, instead of executing on his New York judgment, the Court viewed the French judgment as primary and held that French law should determine the satisfaction question.
James is pertinent only as authority on the choice of law rule New York will apply in the satisfaction context: New York will apply the law of the enforcing jurisdiction. In the instant case, New York would apply its own substantive law. Since neither James nor any other New York decision supplies a New York answer to the substantive question, we must predict the law the New York Court of Appeals would apply. We predict that, where New York law applies, the Court of Appeals would require payment of a New York enforcing judgment in the specified dollar amount or its equivalent value at the date of payment to safeguard the policy underlying the breach-day rule.
The order of the District Court is affirmed.
Even before its repeal, doubt was expressed as to whether section 20 prohibited entry of judgments in foreign currencies. See Baumlin & Ernst, Ltd. v. Gemini, Ltd., 637 F.2d 238, 244 n. 9 (4th Cir.1980); Becker, The Currency of Judgment, 25 Am.J.Comp.L. 152, 157-58 (1977). When the Coinage Act was reenacted without the units of account passage, the House Judiciary Committee noted that the statute expressed no view on the validity of judgments specifying payment in foreign currencies. See H.R.Rep. No. 651, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. reprinted in 1982 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 1895, 2040-41. It has therefore been suggested that such judgments are permissible. See Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 823(1) and comment b (Tent. Draft No. 6, 1985).