Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Death Cometh for the Greenback

This is from Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize Winner and professor at Columbia, and Washington Economist who is not afraid to say his mind. He is a more negative on free markets than me, but regardless of your politics, he makes many important points. Well worth a read.

Death Cometh for the Greenback:
"For the past eight years, the dollar has increasingly become less revered. Its value has been volatile. As the rest of the world saw the United States struggling with a failing war and soaring budget deficits, many who had large dollar holdings began to reduce those reserves (or increase them less than they otherwise would have). All this put downward pressure on the dollar. And thus began the first signs of a vicious circle. The strength of the dollar is becoming riskier and riskier. The growing U.S. deficit and the ballooning of the Federal Reserve's balance sheets leave many worried that in their wake will come inflation, undermining the long-term attractiveness of the U.S. currency.

In this article, I try to explain why the dollar is in trouble, but ask-should we care? What are the consequences? I will suggest that, for the most part, and for most Americans, it is probably a good thing. But the adjustment to a lower value of the dollar will not necessarily come easily. One of the consequences-already under way-is the fraying of the dollar-reserve system. I argue that a move to a global reserve system would be good for the United States, and good for the world."

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