The Great Debate

Don’t cry for the dollar, yet

agnes1– Agnes T. Crane is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are her own –

It looks bad for the dollar, but looks can be deceiving.

Its sharp decline in the last week has pushed the euro to its highest level in a year and reignited fears that there’s only one place for the dollar to go, and that’s down.

Rhetoric from influential investors like Warren Buffett as well as big foreign buyers of U.S. debt like China and Russia has fed that sense of doom.

Then there’s the yen-like role of the dollar as the funding currency, which is casting a pall over the buck since the longer the Fed keeps a lid on interest rates, the longer the pressure stays on the currency.

Yet the dollar is still the No. 1 currency stashed in reserves around the world, by a long shot. International Monetary Fund data showed the dollar accounting for 65 percent of total allocated reserves in the first quarter.

Don’t believe the hype

MARKETS-STOCKS/– Neil Unmack and Agnes T. Crane are Reuters columnists. The views expressed are their own —

By Neil Unmack and Agnes T. Crane
When some of the most influential financial thinkers of our time failed to call one of the biggest bubbles since the Great Depression before it burst, a little skepticism about the recent run-up in stocks is a healthy antidote to the cheerleading that typically accompanies big gains.

Given the enormous size of the last bubble, the current round of inflation in financial markets perhaps should be called by another name — maybe “bubblette” would better suit the times.

from Commentaries:

Long on volatility, short on meaning

It's hard not to be cynical about what the markets are supposedly telling us this week.

Don't get me wrong, I think markets can be a good barometer for sentiment and a leading indicator for trends before they bubble to the surface.

But their behavior this week suggests that the few traders and investors working during these dog days of summer are more interested in pushing prices around for short-term gain than making a bet on where the economy and financial markets are heading.

Getting ready for the dollar’s fall

Agnes Crane It just won’t go away, this needling worry about the U.S. dollar losing its coveted top-dog status.

No matter that there are plenty of reasonable arguments to support the dollar as the world reserve currency — namely there’s just no alternative — for perhaps decades to come.

Yet, in a world where once-rock-solid assumptions quickly turn to dust, investors should keep an eye on the dollar since changing perceptions are chipping away at its cherished status as currency to the world.