Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market House Prices Bull Market Trend Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver End of Week Technical, CoT and Fundamental Status - Gary_Tanashian
3.Stock Market Dow Trend Forecast - April Update - Nadeem_Walayat
4.When Will the Stock Market’s Rally Stop? - Troy_Bombardia
5.Russia and China Intend to Drain the West of Its Gold - MoneyMetals
6.BAIDU (BIDU) - Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Investing To Profit from AI Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Stop Feeding the Chinese Empire - ‘Belt and Road’ Trojan Horse - Richard_Mills
8.Stock Market US China Trade War Panic! Trend Forecast May 2019 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
9.US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - Richard_Mills
10.How to Invest in AI Stocks to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Johnson Vs Gove Tory Leadership Contest Grudge Match Betfair Betting - 17th June 19
Nasdaq Stock Index Prediction System Is Telling Us A Very Different Story - 17th June 19
King Dollar Rides Higher Creating Pressures On Foreign Economies - 17th June 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Tailgate Not Working Problems Fix (70) - 17th June 19
Stock Market Outlook: is the S&P today just like 2007 or 2016? - 17th June 19
US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - 16th June 19
Gold Stocks Bull Upleg Mounting - 16th June 19
Gold Price Seasonal Trend Analysis - Video - 16th June 19
Fethiye Market Fruit, Veg, Spices and Turkish Delight Tourist Shopping - 16th June 19
US Dollar Gold Trend Analysis - 15th June 19
Gold Stocks “Launch” is in Line With Fundamentals - 15th June 19
The Rise of Silver and Major Economic Decline - 15th June 19
Fire Insurance Claims: What Are the Things a Fire Claim Adjuster Does? - 15th June 19
How To Find A Trustworthy Casino? - 15th June 19
Boris Johnson Vs Michael Gove Tory Leadership Grudge Match - Video - 14th June 19
Gold and Silver, Precious Metals: T-Minus 3 Seconds To Liftoff! - 14th June 19
Silver Investing Trend Analysis - Video - 14th June 19
The American Dream Is Alive and Well - in China - 14th June 19
Keeping the Online Gaming Industry in Line - 14th June 19
How Acquisitions Affect Global Stocks - 14th June 19
Please Don’t Buy the Dip in Nvidia or Other Chip Stocks - 14th June 19
A Big Thing in Investor Education is Explainer Videos - 14th June 19
IRAN - The Next American War - 13th June 19
Boris Johnson Vs Michael Gove Tory Leadership Grudge Match Contest - 13th June 19
Top Best VPN Services You Can Choose For Your iPhone - 13th June 19
Tory Leadership Contest Betting Markets Forecast - Betfair - 13th June 19
US Stock Market Setting Up A Pennant Formation - 13th June 19
Which Stocks Will Lead The Cannabis Rebound? - 13th June 19
The Privatization of US Indo-Pacific Vision - Project 2049, Armitage, Budget Ploys and Taiwan Nexus - 12th June 19
Gold Price Breaks to the Upside - 12th June 19
Top Publicly Traded Casino Company Stocks for 2019 - 12th June 19
Silver Investing Trend Analysis - 12th June 19
Why Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks Aren’t as Safe as You Think - 12th June 19
Technical Analysis Shows Aug/Sept Stock Market Top Pattern Should Form - 12th June 19
FTSE 100: A Top European Index - 12th June 19
Gold Surprise! - 11th June 19
How Forex Indicators are Getting Even More Attention in the Market? - 11th June 19
Stock Market Storm Clouds on the Horizon - 11th June 19
Is Your Financial Security Based On A Double Aberration? - 11th June 19
What If Stocks Are Wrong About Interest Rate Cuts? - 11th June 19
US House Prices Yield Curve, Debt, QE4EVER! - 11th June 19
Natural Gas Moves Into Basing Zone - 11th June 19
U.S. Dollar Stall is Good for Commodities - 11th June 19
Fed Running Out of Time and Conventional Weapons - 11th June 19
Trade Wars Propelling Stock Markets to New Highs - 11th June 19
Best Travel Bags for Summer Holidays 2019, Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt, tactical - 11th June 19
Betting on Next British Prime Minister Tory Leadership Betfair Markets Forecast - 10th June 19
How Can Stock Market Go Up When We’re Headed Towards a Recession? - 10th June 19
If You Invest in Dividend Stocks, Do This to Double Your Returns - 10th June 19
Reasons for the Success of the Dating Market - 10th June 19
Gold Price Trend Analysis - Video - 10th June 19
US Stock Markets Rally Hard – Could Another Big Upside Leg Begin? - 10th June 19
Stock Market Huge Cosmic Cluster Ahead: Buckle Up! - 10th June 19
Stock Market Higher To Go? - 10th June 19
The Gold Price Golden Neckline… - 10th June 19
Gold Price Seasonal Trend Analysis - 9th June 19
The Fed Stops Pretending - 9th June 19
Fed Rate Cuts Soon; Bitcoin Enthusiasts Join Wall Street in Bashing Gold - 9th June 19
1990s vs. 2010s - Which Expansion Will be Better for Gold? - 9th June 19
Gold Price Trend Analysis, MACD, Trend Channels, Support / Resistance - 8th June 19
Gold Surges Near Breakout - 8th June 19
Could Gold Rally Above $3750 Before December 2019? - 8th June 19
5 Big Lies About Precious Metals Investing Exposed - 8th June 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Price Trend Forecast Summer 2019

Chinese Currency Manipulation is America’s Fault

Currencies / Market Manipulation Apr 15, 2010 - 02:38 AM GMT

By: Ian_Fletcher

Currencies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDespite the Obama administration's desperate efforts to keep the issue off the boil, Chinese currency manipulation is back in the news again. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner just politely postponed his official report on the question, and Beijing seems to have responded to this courtesy by hinting that it may allow some token appreciation in its currency.


For those readers who have been under a rock for the last few years, the problem is that China artificially lowers the price of its currency, the yuan, in dollars in order to make its exports cheaper in this country. This is one major reason why China is running a huge trade surplus with the U.S.--around 80 percent of our non-oil trade deficit in 2009 and over 100 percent of our deficit in technology (i.e. we run a surplus against the rest of the world).

Unfortunately, the token appreciation that is probably now in store won't help very much. For one thing, Beijing has played this game before. China first started diversifying its currency reserves away from the dollar (which weakens currency manipulation) in July 2005, and from then until July 2008 allowed the yuan to rise from 8.28 to the dollar to 6.83, where it has since been held nearly steady. But this appreciation, while showcased by China, was purely nominal; after adjusting for inflation, the change was far smaller: about two percent.

How does China manipulate its currency? Mainly by preventing its exporters from using the dollars they earn as they wish. Instead, they are required to swap them for domestic currency at China's central bank, which then "sterilizes" them by spending them on U.S. Treasury securities (and increasingly other, higher-yielding, investments) rather than U.S. goods. As a result, the price of dollars is propped up--which means the price of yuan is pushed down--by a demand for dollars which doesn't involve buying American exports.

The amounts involved are astronomical: as of 2008, China's accumulated dollar-denominated holdings amounted to $1.7 trillion, an astonishing 40 percent of China's GDP. The China Currency Coalition estimated in 2005 that the yuan was undervalued by 40 percent; past scholarly estimates have ranged from 10 to 75 percent.
Why is this America's fault? Because China's currency is manipulated relative to our own only because we permit it, as there is no law requiring us to sell China our bonds and other assets. We could, in fact, end this manipulation at will. All we would need to do is bar China's purchases--or just tax them to death.

This would be neither an extreme nor an unprecedented move. It is roughly what the Swiss did in 1972, when economic troubles elsewhere in the world generated an excessive flow of money seeking refuge in Swiss franc-denominated assets. This drove up the value of the franc and threatened to make Swiss manufacturing internationally uncompetitive. To prevent this, the Swiss government imposed a number of measures to dampen foreign investment demand for francs, including a ban on the sale of franc-denominated bonds, securities, and real estate to foreigners. Problem solved. (It did not even damage Switzerland's standing as an international financial center, a key worry at the time.)

If Chinese currency manipulation is so easy to stop, why haven't we done something about it long ago? Mainly because if China ever did stop bingeing on American debt, this would entail it ceasing to ship hundreds of billions of dollars per year of (quite cheap, as it mostly gets the low interest rate paid on government bonds) capital to the U.S. If we didn't then raise our abysmal savings rate to take up the slack, this would sharply raise our interest rates by the operation of supply and demand for capital.

So the real underlying problem is that America doesn't generate enough savings on its own to meet its voracious appetite for borrowing. China's savings rate, thanks to deliberate suppression by the Chinese government of its people's opportunities to spend what they earn, is an astonishing 50 percent. Ours was negative four percent in the last Federal Reserve report on the subject. We are—Oh, how Mao would have loved this!—decadent.

As a result, it is our own inability to raise our savings rate that is the binding constraint here, not anything China does or does not do. We should indeed end China's currency manipulation, but this is something we must do for ourselves, not twist China's arm to do. (Ironically, China is probably doing us a favor by not giving in to our pressure until we are ready to handle the consequences.)

To get out of our currency trap, we need to either save more, borrow less, or both. Unfortunately, the current trillion-dollar-deficit tax and spending plans of the Obama administration aren't exactly putting us on this path. Until the administration gets serious here and the private sector follows suit, our helpless addiction to foreign capital will continue to positively invite currency manipulation. It's time for America to stop whining on this one.

Ian Fletcher is the author of the new book Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why (USBIC, $24.95)  He is an Adjunct Fellow at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a Washington think tank founded in 1933.  He was previously an economist in private practice, mostly serving hedge funds and private equity firms. He may be contacted at ian.fletcher@usbic.net.

© 2010 Copyright  Ian Fletcher - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules