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The U. S. Dollar – Quo Vadis?. Dr. Robert T. LeClair John Cabot University Rome, Italy. Headlines. “Dollar faltering after seven years as leading currency” - USA Today May 30, 2002

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the u s dollar quo vadis

The U. S. Dollar – Quo Vadis?

Dr. Robert T. LeClair

John Cabot University

Rome, Italy

headlines
Headlines
  • “Dollar faltering after seven years as leading currency” -USA Today May 30, 2002
  • “Dollar’s Drop Shows Loss of Faith in U. S. Economy” -Wall Street Journal (Europe) June 3, 2002
headlines1
Headlines
  • “Dollar hits 14-month low versus Euro” -FinancialTimes May 28, 2002
  • “There are signs that the U. S. primacy as an investment location is now under threat” -Financial Times May 31, 2002
history of european monetary union
History of European Monetary Union
  • Maastricht Treaty (2 Feb. 1992)
  • Single Central Bank: (1 June 1998)
    • European Central Bank (ECB)
    • Frankfurt, Germany
    • www.ecb.int/home/
  • Single European currency (“Euro”)
history of european monetary union1
History of European Monetary Union
  • Qualification standards:
    • inflation
    • interest rates
    • fiscal deficit
    • national debt
emu convergence criteria
EMU Convergence Criteria
  • Inflation: no more than 1.5% above avg. of three members with lowest rate
  • L-T interest rate: no more than 2% above avg. of three members with lowest rate
  • Fiscal deficit: no more than 3% of GDP
  • Govt. debt: no more than 60% of GDP
history of the euro
History of the Euro (€)
  • Officially introduced: 1 Jan 1999
  • Currency and coins introduced: 1 Jan 2002
  • “Legacy” currencies (Franc, Mark, Lira, etc.) no longer legal tender after 28 Feb 2002
value of the euro
$ Value of the Euro (€)
  • Quick Quiz:
  • What would you have paid to buy one Euro (€) on January 1, 1999?
    • A. more than $1.00
    • B. exactly $1.00
    • C. less than $1.00
value of the euro1
$ Value of the Euro (€)
  • 1 January 1999: $1.1719
  • 26 October 2000: $0.8228 (low)
  • 1 January 2002: $0.8920
  • 22 April 2008: $1.6018 (high trade)
  • 24 April 2008: $1.5952 (high close)
  • 2 February 2010: $1.397
who needs dollars
Who Needs Dollars?
  • People who want to …
    • buy U. S. goods and services
    • invest in U. S. assets
    • travel to the U. S.
  • Anyone who wants to buy oil!
why the weak euro why the strong u s dollar
Why the weak Euro (€)?Why the strong U. S. Dollar ($)?
  • Stronger U. S. economic growth
  • Shrinking U. S. Government deficit
why the weak euro why the strong u s dollar1
Why the weak Euro (€)?Why the strong U. S. Dollar ($)?
  • Stronger U. S. economic growth
  • Shrinking U. S. Government deficit
  • Strong U. S. stock market performance; compound annual returns for ten years ended -
what s changed to weaken the1
What’s Changed to Weaken the $?
  • Slower U. S. growth
  • Large U. S. government deficits
what s changed to weaken the2
What’s Changed to Weaken the $?
  • Slower U. S. Growth
  • Large U. S. Government deficits
  • Weaker U. S. market returns (S&P 500):
political effect
Political Effect?
  • U. S. Treasury Secretaries:
  • Robert E. Rubin(1995-1999) – “strong dollar”
  • Lawrence H. Summers(1999-01) – “strong dollar”
  • Paul H. O’Neill(2001-02) – “market decides the value of the dollar”
  • John W. Snow(2003-06) – “A strong dollar is in the national interest.”
political effect u s treasury secretaries
Political Effect?[U. S. Treasury Secretaries]
  • Henry Paulson (2006 -2009) – “As I think you know, I believe very strongly that a strongdollar is in our nation’s interest, and I’m a big believer in currencies being set in a competitive, open marketplace.”
political effect u s treasury secretaries1
Political Effect?[U. S. Treasury Secretaries]
  • Timothy Geithner(2009 - ) – “A strong dollar is very important to this country, I mean that, and it’s very important that people recognize it. It does bring special responsibilities and burdens on the United States and it’s very important that we make not just Americans but make the world understand that we are going to go back to living within our means.”
achilles heel financial times may 31 2002
Achilles Heel?[Financial Times, May 31, 2002]
  • “The Achilles heel of the US dollar has been the bulging current account deficit, which is expected to reach $465bn (€516bn) this year.”
achilles heel financial times may 31 20021
Achilles Heel?[Financial Times, May 31, 2002]
  • This means the US needs to attract $1.3bn in overseas funds everyday to prevent the dollar from falling.”
foreign holdings of u s treasury securities

Foreign Holdings of U. S. Treasury Securities

Source: U. S. Treasury International Capital (TIC) Reports, monthly

[www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt]

concerns about the us economy
Concerns About the US Economy?
  • Corporate governance and accounting standards (Enron; WorldCom; Xerox)
  • Productivity gains have not translated into higher corporate profitability
  • Surge in government spending …could depress economic growth
impact of a weaker u s dollar disadvantages
Impact of a Weaker U. S. Dollar[Disadvantages]
  • Foreign goods more expensive
  • Foreign investment more expensive
  • Foreign travel more expensive
  • U. S. interest rates – higher; less foreign capital
impact of a weaker u s dollar advantages
Impact of a Weaker U. S. Dollar[Advantages]
  • American products are more competitive abroad; increased exports; lower U. S. trade deficit
  • U. S. A. manufacturing sector more competitive
  • Increased return on U. S. overseas investments
where do we go from here
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • “Dollar slips to all-time low ($1.3667) vs. Euro”
        • Associated Press
        • December 31, 2004
  • “Bears are betting on a decline in the dollar.”
        • Barron’s
        • August 21, 2006
where do we go from here1
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • “OFF THE CHARTS; Dollar Sinks the Lowest Since It Started to Float”
        • The New York Times
        • September 22, 2007
  • “Fear of European Slump As Currency Sets Record”
        • The New York Times
        • September 22, 2007
where do we go from here2
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • “As Dollars Pile Up, Uneasy Traders Lower the Currency’s Value”
        • The New York Times
        • May 23, 2009
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