Printing More Money (Quantitative Easing) and The Coming Currency War and Decline In The Purchasing Power of The U.S. Dollar–Robbing The American People–Videos

Posted on October 13, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Raves, Resources, Security, Strategy, Taxes, Technology, Video | Tags: , , , , , , |

“True, governments can reduce the rate of interest in the short run. They can issue additional paper money. They can open the way to credit expansion by the banks. They can thus create an artificial boom and the appearance of prosperity. But such a boom is bound to collapse soon or late and to bring about a depression.”

“The gold standard alone makes the determination of moneys purchasing power independent of the ambitions and machinations of governments, of dictators, of political parties, and of pressure groups.”

~Ludwig von Mises

Jim Rogers Currency Wars

“IMF Meeting Stokes Fear of Currency War”

Grant Says Quantitative Easing Is Just Money Printing: Video

Global Currency War Brewing

Is The World On The Verge Of A Currency War?

Daniel Rosen: Currency War

IMF Meeting Stokes Fear of Currency War

Webster Tarpley: “There’s a currency war!”

Heller Says `Very Difficult’ for Fed to Boost Growth: Video

Feldstein Predicts Dollar to Weaken, Boosting Exports: Video

Japan cooperates with US on international currency issues – NHK 101010

US House committee approves China currency bill – NHK 100925

US criticizes China, Japan over currency interventions – NHK 100917


Clyde Prestowitz discusses valuation of Chinese currency

Mar 24 10 Hearing on China’s Exchange Rate Policy, C. Fred Bergsten Opening Statement

Mar 24 10 Hearing on China’s Exchange Rate Policy, Clyde Prestowitz Opening Statement

The Truth About The Economy: Total Collapse

Ron Paul in September 14, 2007

The Federal Reserve System is a banking cartel that benefits the large banks at the expense of the American people.

Cartel economists and so-called experts  cannot replace the market by attempting to fix the price of money or the dollar.

Abolish the Federal Reserve System.

Abolish fiat paper currency.

Establish a new United States currency backed by gold.

Milton Friedman on Monetary Policy – 1/3

Milton Friedman on Monetary Policy – 2/3

Milton Friedman on Monetary Policy – 3/3

This is necessary to stop the financing of massive Federal Government deficits by the Federal Reserve that is purchasing U. S. Treasury bills and notes with Federal Reserve Notes by printing money or  the monetarization of government debt.

Money printing or quantitative easing decreases the purchasing power of the money supply–debasing of the currency– robbing the American people.

Will the Federal Reserve System and fiat paper money be abolished?

Not any time soon.

The result will first be a longer and deeper recession lasting well into 2013.

In 2013 the Federal Reserve System will be 100 years old.

The Federal Reserves System will celebrate by achieving by then the devaluation of the dollar by 99%.

In other words one dollar in 1913 will be worth 1 cent.

If this is monetary stability, one wonders what inflation really is.

Time to do away the Federal Reserve System for incompetence.

I do not expect unemployment rate to fall below 8%  for U-3 until 2013 at the earliest.

As the unemployment slowly declines in 2011 and 2012, there will be at first a gradual increase in the general price level that will accelerate in 2013.

This will be due the inability of the Federal Reserve to reverse quickly enough its very aggressive expansive  monetary policy.

In 2011 and 2012 import prices will rise as the Federal Reserve attempts to devalue the dollar compared with other national currencies in an attempt to expand exports by making them cheaper.

The price of a gallon gasoline in the United States  will first rise above $3 in 2011 and $4 in 2012 mainly due to the devaluation of the U.S. dollar.

As Communist China gradually lets the value of its currency rise in value relative to the U.S. dollar, exports from China will rise in price. This means higher prices for goods imported into the U.S. from China.

The decline in the value or purchasing power of the dollar in 2011 and 2012 combined with unemployment rates exceeding 8% will mean further losses for the Democratic Party in 2012 including the Presidency.

The American people are rightfully mad as hell at the ruling class and political elites in Washington D.C.




Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve and Government Deficit Spending


The Gold Standard in Theory and Myth by Joseph Salerno


“The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form of protection against spendthrift governments.”

“Inflationism, however, is not an isolated phenomenon. It is only one piece in the total framework of politico-economic and socio-philosophical ideas of our time. Just as the sound money policy of gold standard advocates went hand in hand with liberalism, free trade, capitalism and peace, so is inflationism part and parcel of imperialism, militarism, protectionism, statism and socialism.”

~Ludwig von Mises

9. Consolidated Statement of Condition of All Federal Reserve Banks

Millions of dollars
Assets, liabilities, and capital Eliminations from
Oct 6, 2010
Change since
Sep 29, 2010
Oct 7, 2009
Gold certificate account   11,037 0 0
Special drawing rights certificate account   5,200 0 0
Coin   2,114 + 3 + 124
Securities, repurchase agreements, term auction
credit, and other loans
  2,101,199 + 7,113 + 216,329
Securities held outright 1   2,051,716 + 7,403 + 456,429
U.S. Treasury securities   819,072 + 7,403 + 49,887
Bills 2   18,423 0 0
Notes and bonds, nominal 2   752,832 + 7,390 + 52,364
Notes and bonds, inflation-indexed 2   42,318 0 – 2,270
Inflation compensation 3   5,499 + 13 – 207
Federal agency debt securities 2   154,105 0 + 20,294
Mortgage-backed securities 4   1,078,539 0 + 386,248
Repurchase agreements 5   0 0 0
Term auction credit   0 0 – 178,379
Other loans   49,483 – 290 – 61,721
Net portfolio holdings of Commercial Paper
Funding Facility LLC 6
  0 0 – 41,059
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane LLC 7   28,510 + 40 + 2,206
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane II LLC 8   15,674 – 201 + 1,213
Net portfolio holdings of Maiden Lane III LLC 9   22,782 – 258 + 2,616
Net portfolio holdings of TALF LLC 10   601 0 + 601
Preferred interests in AIA Aurora LLC and ALICO
Holdings LLC 11
  26,057 + 324 + 26,057
Items in process of collection (84) 463 + 98 + 310
Bank premises   2,222 – 7 + 1
Central bank liquidity swaps 12   61 0 – 49,770
Other assets 13   95,313 + 2,248 + 11,389
Total assets (84) 2,311,231 + 9,358 + 170,016







Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Footnotes appear at the end of the table. 9. Consolidated Statement of Condition of All Federal Reserve Banks (continued)

Millions of dollars
Assets, liabilities, and capital Eliminations from
Oct 6, 2010
Change since
Sep 29, 2010
Oct 7, 2009
Federal Reserve notes, net of F.R. Bank holdings   918,609 + 4,849 + 42,489
Reverse repurchase agreements 14   64,440 – 2,930 + 1,540
Deposits (0) 1,253,413 + 6,593 + 113,645
Term deposits held by depository institutions   2,119 0 + 2,119
Other deposits held by depository institutions   1,000,014 + 15,875 + 33,477
U.S. Treasury, general account   49,530 – 8,299 + 18,525
U.S. Treasury, supplementary financing account   199,962 + 1 + 70,006
Foreign official   1,345 – 1,066 – 540
Other (0) 444 + 84 – 9,940
Deferred availability cash items (84) 2,598 + 410 – 182
Other liabilities and accrued dividends 15   15,029 + 91 + 6,468
Total liabilities (84) 2,254,089 + 9,014 + 163,961
Capital accounts  
Capital paid in   26,687 + 1 + 1,798
Surplus   25,881 + 6 + 4,500
Other capital accounts   4,575 + 338 – 242
Total capital   57,142 + 344 + 6,055








Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

1. Includes securities lent to dealers under the overnight and term securities lending facilities; refer to table 1A.

2.Face value of the securities.

3. Compensation that adjusts for the effect of inflation on the original face value of inflation-indexed securities.


4. Guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. Current face value of the securities, which is the remaining principal balance of the underlying mortgages.


5.Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities.


6. Includes the book value of the commercial paper, net of amortized costs and related fees, and other investments held by the Commercial Paper Funding Facility LLC.


7. Refer to table 4 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 10.


8. Refer to table 5 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 10.


9. Refer to table 6 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 10.


10. Refer to table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 10.

11. Refer to table 8.


12. Dollar value of foreign currency held under these agreements valued at the exchange rate to be used when the foreign currency is returned to the foreign central bank. This exchange rate equals the market exchange rate used when the foreign currency was acquired from the foreign central bank.


13. Includes other assets denominated in foreign currencies, which are revalued daily at market exchange rates, accrued dividends on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s (FRBNY) preferred interests in AIA Aurora LLC and ALICO Holdings LLC, and the fair value adjustment to credit extended by the FRBNY to eligible borrowers through the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility.

14. Cash value of agreements, which are collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, federal agency debt securities, and mortgage-backed securities.

15. Includes the liabilities of Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden Lane III LLC, and TALF LLC to entities other than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, including liabilities that have recourse only to the portfolio holdings of these LLCs. Refer to table 4 through table 7 and the note on consolidation accompanying table 10.



Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee September 21, 2010″…At the conclusion of the discussion, the Committee voted to authorize and direct the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, until it was instructed otherwise, to execute transactions in the System Account in accordance with the following domestic policy directive:

“The Federal Open Market Committee seeks monetary and financial conditions that will foster price stability and promote sustainable growth in output. To further its long-run objectives, the Committee seeks conditions in reserve markets consistent with federal funds trading in a range from 0 to 1/4 percent. The Committee directs the Desk to maintain the total face value of domestic securities held in the System Open Market Account at approximately $2 trillion by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities. The System Open Market Account Manager and the Secretary will keep the Committee informed of ongoing developments regarding the System’s balance sheet that could affect the attainment over time of the Committee’s objectives of maximum employment and price stability.”

The vote encompassed approval of the statement below to be released at 2:15 p.m.:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in August indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising, though less rapidly than earlier in the year, while investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak. Employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts are at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract, but at a reduced rate in recent months. The Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be modest in the near term.Measures of underlying inflation are currently at levels somewhat below those the Committee judges most consistent, over the longer run, with its mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability. With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to remain subdued for some time before rising to levels the Committee considers consistent with its mandate.The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period. The Committee also will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings.The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation, over time, to levels consistent with its mandate.”

Voting for this action: Ben Bernanke, William C. Dudley, James Bullard, Elizabeth Duke, Sandra Pianalto, Eric Rosengren, Daniel K. Tarullo, and Kevin Warsh.Voting against this action: Thomas M. Hoenig.Mr. Hoenig dissented, emphasizing that the economy was entering the second year of moderate recovery and that, while the zero interest rate policy and “extended period” language were appropriate during the crisis and its immediate aftermath, they were no longer appropriate with the recovery under way. Mr. Hoenig also emphasized that, in his view, the current high levels of unemployment were not caused by high interest rates but by an extended period of exceptionally low rates earlier in the decade that contributed to the housing bubble and subsequent collapse and recession. He believed that holding rates artificially low would invite the development of new imbalances and undermine long-run growth. He would prefer removing the “extended period” language and thereafter moving the federal funds rate upward, consistent with his views at past meetings that it approach 1 percent, before pausing to determine what further policy actions were needed. Also, given current economic and financial conditions, Mr. Hoenig did not believe that continuing to reinvest principal payments from SOMA securities holdings was required to support the Committee’s policy objectives.It was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Tuesday-Wednesday, November 2-3, 2010. The meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m. on September 21, 2010. …”

Background Articles and Videos








 Marc-Faber– FedsPrinting to Create Final Crisis 8-3-2010


Quantitative easing



Marc Faber Sees Fed Introducing `Massive’ Quantitative Easing



Ron Paul: If You Care About The Poor You Have To Look At Monetary Policy

The Gold Standard Before the Civil War | Murray N. Rothbard

Monetary Policy, Deflation, And Quantitative Easing

“…Aren’t the excess bank reserves inflationary?

Potentially yes, but currently no. Even though banks are earning a meager 25 basis points on their reserves, that is not sufficient incentive to keep large quantities of excess reserves uninvested or unloaned. As they were in the mid-1930s, massive excess reserves are the result of banker fear and uncertainty. The banking system has been saved, but it hasn’t been made whole yet. Bankers continue to worry about reserve levels and liquidity levels and capital levels. They are willing to lend, but only very conservatively to credit-worthy borrowers. Also, much of the slowdown in bank lending comes from low demand for loans by highly qualified borrowers.

The idea that the excess reserves held on banks’ balance sheets should be “mopped up” to prevent them being used in inflationary ways later is a very dangerous idea. They are there voluntarily because bankers feel they are needed. To remove them would cause further bank retrenchment, as it did in the 1930s when the Fed decided to “mop up” the excess reserves of that time.

As the economy and confidence improves, banks will begin using their excess reserves more aggressively. At that point, the Fed will have to be very careful not to stifle that desirable activity on the one hand or let it get out of hand and become inflationary on the other hand. Since they have lots of good, two-handed economists, I think they can pull it off. ..”

The Founding of the Federal Reserve | Murray N. Rothbard

If you work to earn money you need to watch this

Quantitative Easing

“…The term quantitative easing (QE) describes a monetary policy used by central banks to increase the supply of money by increasing the excess reserves of the banking system. This policy is usually invoked when the normal methods to control the money supply have failed, i.e the bank interest rate, discount rate and/or interbank interest rate are either at, or close to, zero.

A central bank implements QE by first crediting its own account with money it creates ex nihilo (“out of nothing”).[1] It then purchases financial assets, including government bonds, agency debt, mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds, from banks and other financial institutions in a process referred to as open market operations. The purchases, by way of account deposits, give banks the excess reserves required for them to create new money, and thus hopefully induce a stimulation of the economy, by the process of deposit multiplication from increased lending in the fractional reserve banking system.

Risks include the policy being more effective than intended, spurring hyperinflation, or the risk of not being effective enough, if banks opt simply to sit on the additional cash in order to increase their capital reserves in a climate of increasing defaults in their present loan portfolio.[1]

“Quantitative” refers to the fact that a specific quantity of money is being created; “easing” refers to reducing the pressure on banks.[2] However, another explanation is that the name comes from the Japanese-language expression for “stimulatory monetary policy”, which uses the term “easing”.[3] Quantitative easing is sometimes colloquially described as “printing money” although in reality the money is simply created by electronically adding a number to an account. Examples of economies where this policy has been used include Japan during the early 2000s, and the United States, the United Kingdom and the Eurozone during the global financial crisis of 2008–the present, since the programme is suitable for economies where the bank interest rate, discount rate and/or interbank interest rate are either at, or close to, zero.


Ordinarily, the central bank uses its control of interest rates, or sometimes reserve requirements, to indirectly influence the supply of money.[1] In some situations, such as very low inflation or deflation, setting a low interest rate is not enough to maintain the level of money supply desired by the central bank, and so quantitative easing is employed to further boost the amount of money in the financial system.[1] This is often considered a “last resort” to increase the money supply.[4][5] The first step is for the bank to create more money ex nihilo (“out of nothing”) by crediting its own account. It can then use these funds to buy investments like government bonds from financial firms such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds,[1] in a process known as “monetising the debt“.

For example, in introducing its QE programme, the Bank of England bought gilts from financial institutions, along with a smaller amount of relatively high-quality debt issued by private companies.[6] The banks, insurance companies and pension funds can then use the money they have received for lending or even to buy back more bonds from the bank. The central bank can also lend the new money to private banks or buy assets from banks in exchange for currency.[citation needed] These have the effect of depressing interest yields on government bonds and similar investments, making it cheaper for business to raise capital.[7] Another side effect is that investors will switch to other investments, such as shares, boosting their price and thus creating the illusion of increasing wealth in the economy.[6] QE can reduce interbank overnight interest rates, and thereby encourage banks to loan money to higher interest-paying and financially weaker bodies.

More specifically, the lending undertaken by commercial banks is subject to fractional-reserve banking: they are subject to a regulatory reserve requirement, which requires them to keep a percentage of deposits in “reserve”,[citation needed]: these can only be used to settle transactions between them and the central bank.[7] The remainder, called “excess reserves”, can (but does not have to be) be used as a basis for lending. When, under QE, a central bank buys from an institution, the institution’s bank account is credited directly and their bank gains reserves.[6] The increase in deposits from the quantitative easing process causes an excess in reserves and private banks can then, if they wish, create even more new money out of “thin air” by increasing debt (lending) through a process known as deposit multiplication and thus increase the country’s money supply. The reserve requirement limits the amount of new money. For example a 10% reserve requirement means that for every $10,000 created by quantitative easing the total new money created is potentially $100,000. The US Federal Reserve‘s now out-of-print booklet Modern Money Mechanics explains the process.

A state must be in control of its own currency and monetary policy if it is to unilaterally employ quantitative easing. Countries in the eurozone (for example) cannot unilaterally use this policy tool, but must rely on the European Central Bank to implement it.[citation needed] There may also be other policy considerations. For example, under Article 123 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union[7] and later the Maastricht Treaty, EU member states are not allowed to finance their public deficits (debts) by simply printing the money required to fill the hole, as happened, for example, in Weimar Germany and more recently in Zimbabwe.[1] Banks using QE, such as the Bank of England, have argued that they are increasing the supply of money not to fund government debt but to prevent deflation, and will choose the financial products they buy accordingly, for example, by buying government bonds not straight from the government, but in secondary markets.[1][7]

HistoryQuantitative easing was used unsuccessfully[8] by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to fight domestic deflation in the early 2000s.[9] During the global financial crisis of 2008–the present, policies announced by the US Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke to counter the effects of the crisis are a form of quantitative easing. Its balance sheet expanded dramatically by adding new assets and new liabilities without “sterilizing” these by corresponding subtractions. In the same period the United Kingdom used quantitative easing as an additional arm of its monetary policy in order to alleviate its financial crisis.[10][11][12]

The European Central Bank (ECB) has used 12-month long-term refinancing operations (a form of quantitative easing without referring to it as such) through a process of expanding the assets that banks can use as collateral that can be posted to the ECB in return for Euros. This process has led to bonds being “structured for the ECB”[13]. By comparison the other central banks were very restrictive in terms of the collateral they accept: the US Federal Reserve used to accept primarily treasuries (in the first half of 2009 it bought almost any relatively safe dollar-denominated securities); the Bank of England applied a large haircut.

In Japan’s case, the BOJ had been maintaining short-term interest rates at close to their minimum attainable zero values since 1999. With quantitative easing, it flooded commercial banks with excess liquidity to promote private lending, leaving them with large stocks of excess reserves, and therefore little risk of a liquidity shortage.[14] The BOJ accomplished this by buying more government bonds than would be required to set the interest rate to zero. It also bought asset-backed securities and equities, and extended the terms of its commercial paper purchasing operation.[15]

RisksQuantitative easing is seen as a risky strategy that could trigger higher inflation than desired or even hyperinflation if it is improperly used and too much money is created.

Quantitative easing runs the risk of going too far. An increase in money supply to a system has an inflationary effect by diluting the value of a unit of currency. People who have saved money will find it is devalued by inflation; this combined with the associated low interest rates will put people who rely on their savings in difficulty. If devaluation of a currency is seen externally to the country it can affect the international credit rating of the country which in turn can lower the likelihood of foreign investment. Like old-fashioned money printing, Zimbabwe suffered an extreme case of a process that has the same risks as quantitative easing, printing money, making its currency virtually worthless.[1]


Federal Open Market Committee

“…About the FOMCThe term “monetary policy” refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve responsibility for setting monetary policy.The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy–open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

Structure of the FOMC

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members–the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee’s assessment of the economy and policy options.The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year. At these meetings, the Committee reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.For more detail on the FOMC and monetary policy, see section 2 of the brochure on the structure of the Federal Reserve System and chapter 2 of Purposes & Functions of the Federal Reserve System.

2010 Members of the FOMC

  • Members
    • Ben S. Bernanke, Board of Governors, Chairman
    • William C. Dudley, New York, Vice Chairman
    • James Bullard, St. Louis
    • Elizabeth A. Duke, Board of Governors
    • Thomas M. Hoenig, Kansas City
    • Sandra Pianalto, Cleveland
    • Sarah Bloom Raskin, Board of Governors
    • Eric S. Rosengren, Boston
    • Daniel K. Tarullo, Board of Governors
    • Kevin M. Warsh, Board of Governors
    • Janet L. Yellen, Board of Governors …”

FEDERAL RESERVE statistical release
Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions and
Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks


Why Chinese Currency Manipulation Is America’s Fault by: Ian Fletcher April 15, 2010

“…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.) …”

“…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. …”


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