Thursday November 12, 2009 - 14:18:18 GMT
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Could there be a demand shift?
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said there are â€śearly signsâ€ť that the world is addressing imbalances in spending and saving that contributed to the global crisis. (Bloomberg)
The number of homeowners on the brink of losing their homes dipped in October, the third straight monthly decline, as foreclosure prevention programs helped more borrowers. (AP)
â€śWell, I give the answer Ben Gurion once gave: to be realistic today you need a great deal of utopia. Running away from the most obvious solutions is not realism. Itâ€™s crisis management, condemning you to more and more crisis management.â€ť
Robert Triffin, in reaction to being accused of being naĂŻve by still believing in the possibility of reforming the international monetary system.
FX Trading â€“ Dollar higher on reported APEC buying
Didnâ€™t your mother ever tell you that sarcasm would get you nowhere in life Mr. Treasury Secretary:
Reuters (12 Nov 09): U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday a strong dollar was important for global stability and Asia was leading the global economic recovery. "We are seeing Asia lead the world back to recovery," he told a news conference at the end of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum ministerial meeting. A strong dollar was important for the United States, which also recognizes the important role the currency plays in global economic stability, he said.
My reaction to the Mr. Geithnerâ€™s comment about a strong dollar is the typical reaction I bet; there is good reason. Thatâ€™s because for about seven or eight years we have been told by Treasury Secretaries present and past that a strong dollar is good for America. Yet, the same set of Treasury Secretaries seem to do very little to support a policy they say they believe in. In fact, they institute policies that make it clear the US dollar is more important as a tool to lubricate global markets (part of the world reserve currency status role proving that Mr. Triffin was right), thus we need plenty of them out there. Lots of supply usually means lower prices for a product that is ruled by supply and demand forces. The dollar is no different.
Could there be a demand shift?
This morning, The Wall Street Journal is reporting Thailand, Korea, Russia, and maybe others are in there buying the US dollar with both hands and feet. Thailand and Korea have a lot of hands and feet, Russia not so much as it used to now that itâ€™s losing the battle of demographics. All these countries have a vested interestâ€”to slow the decent in the dollar and corresponding ascent of their currencies. Of course the big dog on the blockâ€”Chinaâ€”seems quite happy with the dollar decline thanks to their crawling peg, which doesnâ€™t seem to crawl much in the appreciation direction.
Within the Journal story, itâ€™s reported the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) nations would like to see China make its currency more flexible, i.e. allow that crawlingpeg to crawl up instead of consistently down. In the background, all nations understand that global rebalancing is happening, i.e. rebalancing of overproduction in the east against overconsumption in the west. Chinaâ€™s peg to the dollar goes to the core of that imbalance. [Chart not available in text format.]
But hereâ€™s the rub for the Asian block countries: If China for some heavenly reason, one only a very smart, good looking, and well dressed CNBC analyst can tell us about after the fact, does decide to let its currency appreciate against the US dollar then the entire Asian block of currencies will likely move higher along with the big dogâ€™s.
The dollar is bouncing this morning. Stocks are lower. I even show gold prices lower on my screen at the momentâ€”thatâ€™s a big deal in itself, though down only slightly. Could Mr. Greenie stage a sustained bounce? Technically overdue, APEC buying might be a good reason to attach.
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Our Currency Investor monthly service is just $39 per year. We think you will find it an incredible bargain. If youâ€™d like to give it a try, weâ€™d love to have you.
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