The harshest congressional critic of the Federal Reserve faced the toughest internal questioner of central bank policy across a witness table on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Surely there would be a meeting of the minds. Alas, it was not to be.
Global foreign exchange has always been one of the biggest markets in the world but its exponential growth keeps accelerating. The triennial survey by the Bank for International Settlements shows global foreign exchange market turnover leapt 20 percent to $4 trillion, compared with $3.3 trillion three years ago.
You know the American dollar is in trouble when…
There is plenty of discussion about the fate of the U.S. greenback these days, what with multi-trillion dollar rescues still flowing through the financial system. But dollar bulls might feel just a little trepidation to see Jay Johnson, former head of the U.S. mint — the folks that print the stuff — become a spokesperson for gold. Johnson actually passed away last month, but he can still be seen on TV infomercials, singing gold’s praises.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning for years about the risk of global imbalances — namely huge U.S. current account deficits and surpluses in China. Today its chief economist offered a grim view of how the economy might suffer if the rebalancing act fails.
The United States and China hold economic and strategic talks in Washington starting on July 27. The United States, International Monetary Fund and other groups have urged China to allow its currency to appreciate in order to help unwind global imbalances. Here is a chart showing the Chinese yuan vs the U.S. dollar.
Judging from the draft communique of the G8 leaders meeting in L’Aquila, no one is in a particular hurry to talk about ending the domination of the dollar in world currency reserves. Our correspondents at the Italian summit report that the debate being pushed by China and others is likely to be played down.
Hiroshi Watanabe, president of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, saw his share of dollar buying intervention during decades at the nation's finance ministry. But the market veteran says despite prevalent talk recently, a shift away from the greenback as the world's reserve currency may be great in theory, but like the language of Esperanto short on daily practitioners.