Wednesday, 16 October 2013
a fistful of kuai
The weird thing about the USA teetering on the edge of its implacable sovereign debt status is that the US dollar actually appears to be getting stronger.
There's no secret that America prints around $86bn per month of quantitative easing (a.k.a. new money) reaching around $2.8 trillion so far. I think the USA annual economy turns over $16-$17 trillion per annum, so its already printed about 16% of that as new money.
Intriguingly, the site that informs the rest of the world about this sort of thing is closed because of the US Government shutdown.
Oh, and so is the site it suggests referencing at the end of the message...
It raises an interesting point about global financial stability, because usually the traders move to the dollar in times of uncertainty. As this uncertainty is about the dollar, it seems an unusual thing to do. Except everyone knows that the uncertainty will cause the US presses to keep on printing money.
Of course, most of the moves that these highly rewarded traders make are part of computer algorithms and the 'flee to dollar' is probably built in, creating the paradox. Not that there's any real alternative. It would take decades to devise an alternate Monopoly currency to be used in times of strife.
From time to time a humorous three dollar bill is reproduced in America, usually as part of a satirical message. I even have a couple from the Lewinsky era, which I picked up in Washington. But it's currently the $16 bill that is receiving attention.
That's the one that George Osborne and Boris Johnson have gone fishing for, over in Beijing.
Yes, the renminbi currency of Chinese yuan is the one to watch. Bottom right the notes even have the denomination marked in something that looks intergalactic.
So it'll be yuan, mao* and fen, whilst we watch the rise of the new ABP Chinese business district around the Royal Albert Dock, right next to City Airport. Maybe a new station for the Monopoly board, that Custom House Crossrail station due by 2015 is beginning to look a little understated.
* Okay, or jiao