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Posts Tagged ‘Strong Dollar’

Central Bankers Are Gaslighting Us about the “Strong Dollar”

Posted by M. C. on September 21, 2022

A perfect example of how this rhetoric works comes from the Bank of Japan’s Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in July. As the yen was really starting to slide against the dollar, he opined that “This is not so much a yen weakness as a dollar strength.” Kuroda said these words after years of negative rates, and right after the BOJ had doubled down on buying up “vast quantities of bonds” to force down interest rates and borrowing costs. Kuroda’s words also came weeks after the Swiss National Bank raised interest rates for the first time in 15 years.

https://mises.org/wire/central-bankers-are-gaslighting-us-about-strong-dollar

Ryan McMaken

On February 8, the Japanese yen fell to a 24-year low against the dollar, dropping to 143 yen per dollar. Not much has changed since then with the yen hovering between 142 and 144 per dollar. In September of 2021, one only needed 109 yen to buy a dollar. 

Overall, the yen has dropped 21 percent against the dollar over the past year, yet Japan’s central bank apparently has no plans to change course. Nor should we expect it to do so.  Japan’s debt load has become so immense that any attempt to raise interest rates or otherwise tighten monetary conditions would prove extraordinarily painful.  So, it’s no surprise the BOJ is now positioned to become the world’s last central bank clinging to negative interest rates

It’s Not Just Japan

The yen is sliding the most among the world’s major currencies, but it’s not alone. Over the past year, the euro has fallen 14 percent against the dollar while the pound has fallen 13 percent. Even the Chinese yuan, which is subject to even more currency manipulation than the West’s central banks, has fallen against the dollar. 

All of this means is we’re hearing a lot about the supposedly “strong dollar,” but not in a good way. Rather, the reputedly strong dollar is being discussed in a context of how harmful it is, and how we must explore ways to make the dollar weaker as soon as politically feasible. 

Such talk must be heartily opposed, of course, as the dollar is not “too strong,” Rather, talk of the dollar’s “strength” is not really about the dollar at all. It’s about the weakness of other currencies and it’s about how other central banks have embraced monetary policy that’s even worse than that of the US’s Fed. If, say, other national governments and central banks are concerned about the dollar being too strong, those institutions are welcome to embrace policies that will strengthen their own currencies. 

Instead, we’ll hear about how the Fed must “do something” to weaken the dollar through more easy money and thus stick it to Americans who hold dollars by lessening their purchasing power.

“We Didn’t Inflate Currency X Too Much, it’s All the Dollar’s Fault”

A perfect example of how this rhetoric works comes from the Bank of Japan’s Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in July. As the yen was really starting to slide against the dollar, he opined that “This is not so much a yen weakness as a dollar strength.” Kuroda said these words after years of negative rates, and right after the BOJ had doubled down on buying up “vast quantities of bonds” to force down interest rates and borrowing costs. Kuroda’s words also came weeks after the Swiss National Bank raised interest rates for the first time in 15 years. That was just one more example of how dovish the ECB was compared to other banks, and yet, Kuroda then manages to say with a straight face that this is all about the dollar. 

This is the sort of talk we should learn to expect on the “strong dollar.” The central banks who are devaluing their currency, aren’t to blame, you see. It’s the dollar’s fault. 

Other critiques of the strong are less explicit on this last point and are more just in the business of priming the pump to convince us all that a relatively less-weak dollar is a bad thing. 

Blaming a “Strong” Dollar Rather than Weak, Inflated Currencies 

See the rest here

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