Monday, November 15, 2010

what goes around comes around

Alan Blinder is up in arms at the audacity of foreign leaders calling QE2 "currency manipulation". So is President Obama, Paul Krugman, and a host of other luminaries.

Here's Blinder in today's WSJ: "But calling QE2 "currency manipulation" is a grotesque abuse of language".

His (correct) argument is that QE2 is basic everyday expansionary monetary policy just applied to a different portion of the yield curve. Sure it may have the side effect of lowering the dollar, but.....

People, the foreign reaction is a predictable consequence of our insistence in labeling China's fixed exchange rate as "currency manipulation".

A fixed exchange rate is a basic everyday policy regime. Bretton Woods was a system of fixed exchange rates, so the US has had a fixed exchange rate in the not so distant past. The countries of Western Europe continued to struggle to achieve a system of fixed exchange rates post Bretton Woods, culminating in the creation of the Euro which is a system of fixed exchange rates between all the participating countries.

Here's another gem from Blinder: "the US is sovereign nation with a right to its own monetary policy".

And China isn't???

Our administration and elite pundits have been blaming other countries for our problems for a while now, so it's not surprising that many other countries are enjoying their chance to throw it back into our faces.

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