Thursday, November 25

Happy thanksgiving, the Falling Dollar Edition

It's Theme blogging at the codpiece today, and as a challenge to myself I think that we'll take a look at Native Americans through the eyes of George Catlin, a flight from religious persecution that led to the founding of Massachusetts colony, an examination of the religion of the Founding Fathers, Jeffersons letters to th Baptists, and why I am thankfull that for a short while at least, we enjoy the separation of Church and State.

But to begin with lets take a look at the Falling Dollar. Atrios laments not being able to pay for his accomodations in Barcelona in advance. The Euro is at 1.30 and climbing. The Yen is approaching the penny in value. Russia may be looking to unload dollars in the near term, which will serve to only exascerbate the decline.
LONDON (AFP) - The dollar trawled record depths against the euro, hit by signs that central banks in Russia and elsewhere could step up sales of the ailing US currency to buy euros.
The single European currency soared to a new record against the dollar, reaching 1.3178 dollars in late European trading.

It was the third record high of the day, and the second straight day of record highs for the euro, which has been boosted by concerns about the US budget and current account deficits.

The euro then eased back, changing hands at 1.3174 dollars, against 1.3084 late on Tuesday in New York.

The dollar fell to 102.89 yen from 103.30 on Tuesday.

The dollar sell-off has gathered pace over the week as concerns over the US's twin deficits combined with talk the Russian Central Bank is reviewing the structure of its currency reserves away from the US currency.
Can you blame them? The almighty dollar is not what she used to be, and is falling in the face of budgetary and trade deficits, that until now has been buoyed by the reputation of the United States as a fiscally responsible Nation. First world economies are always given the benifit of the doubt, but given the "re-election" of the Manichean Candidate, the doubts begin to mount.
Coming from our side of the pond from Stephen Roach, his suggestion that there is a 90% chance of economic Amegeddon can't be soothing the ruffled feathers of economists and bond traders here and abroad.
Economic `Armageddon' predicted
By Brett Arends/ On State Street
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish. But you should hear what he's saying in private. Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.

His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ``armageddon.''

Press were not allowed into the meetings. But the Herald has obtained a copy of Roach's presentation. A stunned source who was at one meeting said, ``it struck me how extreme he was - much more, it seemed to me, than in public.''

Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent chance that ``we'll muddle through for a while and delay the eventual armageddon.'' The chance we'll get through OK: one in 10.

Can you understand why Russia's central bank may be leery about the dollar and might want to avail itself of the always good advice for any investor and diversify it's currency portfolio.
Whether or not Russia reduces the weight of the dollar in its foreign exchange reserves, analysts said the US currency will stay on the backfoot so long as the US continues to record massive deficits on both the current account and the fiscal front.

"The dollar is friendless and in danger of freefall," said Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group.

As long as the market believes the US administration is following a policy of benign neglect, then the dollar will continue to fall whatever the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan does to counter-act it, he added.

In that scenario, not even strong US data can provide the dollar respite, with analysts now widely predicting the euro hitting 1.45 dollars and a two dollar pound is just around the corner. Meanwhile, there is even talk that the dollar could drop to 85 yen.
Does not seem to be a whole lot to be thankfull for in the short term, short being relative (let's hope we aren't looking at the geological time frame).
Despite this brighter US economic picture, the dollar continues to slide in the currency markets against all its major rivals in the wake of last weekend's G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers.

That meeting eliminated any expectation that there would be concerted action to help stabilise the dollar.
"The market believes intervention will be ineffective, and there is now a strong view the ECB will not intervene, while the market waits for the BoJ [bank of Japan] to follow words with actions," said ECU Group's Mackinnon.
The renewed bout of selling this week was sparked by comments from the Russian authorities hinting at plans to continue to switch their currency reserves into euros, to the detriment of the dollar.

The euro was changing hands at 1.3174 dollars against 1.3084 late on Tuesday in New York, 135.52 yen (135.16), 0.7001 pounds (0.7000) and 1.5105 Swiss francs (1.5152).

The dollar stood at 102.89 yen (103.30) and 1.1463 Swiss francs (1.1582).

The pound was at 1.8824 dollars (1.8685), 193.65 yen (192.99) and 2.1578 Swiss francs (2.1645).

On the London Bullion Market, the price of an ounce of gold stood at 448.60 dollars against 448.15 late on Tuesday.
I wonder if Dubby took a look into Putin's soul while in Chile, and if the soul told him "Mars Bitch, we are switching to Euros".

Now back in '98 Mr. Andrea Mitchell, saw clouds looming over Asia, has Greenspan been replaced by a pod person?
WASHINGTON, February, 24 1998 (AP) - Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan hailed the remarkable performance of the U.S. economy today, but warned that "storm clouds coming out of Asia carried unusually high uncertainty about the future."

Delivering his semi-annual economic report to Congress, Greenspan may be forecasting the same grim scenario seen and reported here by John Kutyn.
It would seem that Asia knows some kind of economic Kung Fu, and flipped said crisis back at us. Now that pollyanna Greenspan keeps telling us how great things are I can only semise that he is a replicant. The rest of the article paints an interesting picture of threats not yet materialized.

Well there you go friends, the immenent collapse of the US economy awaits. Before the fall, i would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving day.