Thursday, November 18, 2010

1. Malaysians, including Malaysian monetary authorities seem quite happy over the appreciation of the Ringgit against the US Dollar. We think that when our currency strengthens it must be because our economy is strong, Therefore we are doing well.

2. But are we doing well? Is it the Ringgit which is appreciating or is it the US Dollar which is devaluing?

3. Actually it is the US Dollar which is devaluing. It is devaluing against most other currencies, especially against China’s currency.

4. Why is the dollar devaluing? Could it be due to the currency traders selling dollars? Could it be because the balance of payment is not in US favour?

5. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, an expert on money have this to say. There is a global currency battle going on. “To put it crudely,” he says, “the US wants to inflate the rest of the world, while the latter is trying to deflate the US. The US must win, since it has infinite ammunition; there is no limit to the dollars the Federal Reserve can create. What needs to be discussed is the terms of the world’s surrender; the needed changes in nominal exchange rates and domestic policies around the world.

6. Our reserves are represented by the US Dollar, gold and other currencies which we keep in order to back the value of our Ringgit, The US clearly does not have to hold foreign currencies to back the Dollar. All the US has to is to create (print) money.

7. When we buy US Dollar bonds, we are in fact lending US Dollars to the US. When we redeem the bonds all the US has to do is to print more US Dollars to pay us.

8. How nice it would be if we can pay all our debts by just printing money.

9. There is something fishy going on and the fishy smell is very strong in the US. “Poor” China with 2.5 trillion devalued dollars in its reserve. Wonder how much Bank Negara has?

10. In the face of Governments devaluing their currencies in a currency war, what should Malaysia do? Keep the float or control? When we controlled our currency in 1998 we were called pariahs whose knowledge about finance could be wriiten on the back of a postage stamp. Now it seems many nations are using their magnifying glasses to read what is written on the back of the postage stamps.
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