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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Germany, China, and Currencies

A little light reading on Bloomberg today: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-17/germany-ignores-soros-as-exports-drive-record-growth-at-consumers-expense.html

One of the principal things that concerns me going forward is that there was no effort made to bring the global current account disparities into better alignment. You can't have three or four really big exporting countries (China, Germany, at times Russia) and have a few big importing countries (U.S., Italy, Spain) and expect there to be stability in foreign exchange markets or evenly distributed global prosperity.

Given the U.S.'s return to large current account deficits with the onset of economic expansion, I think we can say with some degree of certainty that the dollar is likely to be quite weak in the medium term. In the short run, it may have some loft from transitory crises, but the dollar's trajectory is more likely than not to be down, interest rate signals not withstanding. According to the interest rate theories, we can expect a stronger dollar ten years from now than we have today, which may be true, but from an investment standpoint that's not relevant.

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