Tuesday, February 3, 2009

US-China currency war threatens world

...This has the makings of an almighty superpower bust-up. It is fast becoming the theme of Davos 2009. It may soon be the burning issue of our times. We will all learn how to pronounce Renminbi.

The Bush Administration -- in its day -- deflected all attempts by Congress to crack down on China's currency policy. Perhaps sagely, perhaps not.

There is no question that Beijing has pursued a mercantilist strategy of conquering US and European markets by holding down the yuan/renminbi. It has a monthly trade surplus of $40bn, the highest ever recorded by any country. Or put another way, China is exporting its surplus capacity to the rest of the world. It has become a global deflation machine.

Even so, Mr Geithner is playing with fire. Beijing has amassed reserves of $1.9 trillion. From what we know, most of this money is held in the form of US Treasuries and other bonds. Creditors exercise power. Don't be fooled by claims that China could not deploy this weapon without damaging its own interests. All kinds of things can and do happen when tempers flare, and they were flaring today...

Read entire article: US-China Currency War Threatens World
Posted By: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at Jan 28, 2009 at 17:46:34 [General]
Posted in: Davos

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