Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reverse manipulation (white board lesson)...

Recently, a bipartisan group of 60 senators wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Lew, asking that we engage in reverse manipulation.

On behalf of their corporate sponsors, the good senators would have us leverage a pending trade agreement to manipulate other countries into halting their manipulation of their own currencies. The senators suggest that actions reducing the value of our trading partners' currencies result in unfair trade relations. And, you know, they're absolutely correct. When China, for example, takes measures that reduce the value of the yuan versus the U.S. dollar, it is giving the U.S. consumer a direct trade advantage over the Chinese consumer. That's right, a weaker Yuan makes Chinese goods less expensive to U.S. consumers, and, conversely, makes U.S. goods more expensive to Chinese consumers. Of course the powers pulling those senatorial strings are looking to turn that advantage in the favor of their foreign customers: By manipulating our foreign trading partners into no longer manipulating their currencies (whether or not many of them do is dubious by the way), the dollar weakens and U.S. exporters gain --- at the U.S. consumer's expense:

Here's how it works:

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