Sunday, December 05, 2004

What are the Asian governments thinking?

Brad DeLong asks:
(1) Given all the reasons for the dollar to decline, who in their right mind is buying the current flow of dollar-denominated securities held overseas needed to finance America's current-account deficit? (2) Given all the reasons for the dollar to decline, why haven't all the private-sector overseas holders of the enormous stock of dollar-denominated assets dumped them yet?
For the answer to (2), I would agree with the commenter Randolph Fritz, who said, "the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent". Without a George Soros-type figure, there is no mechanism for the private sector overseas holder to take a position on the dollar based on fundamentals. In any case, trying to play the dollar would be a dangerous adventure given the huge amount of cash involved. Of course, they could just dump the dollar without trying to make gains on both the roundabouts and the swings; that would be just cutting losses, a change from the profit-seeking ethos of today's finance industry.

The big question is what is the game plan that the Asian banks are following?

I'm guessing that the Asian economies are funding America to buy their exports because America will buy the "right" exports. If they instead merely stimulated their own economies, their populations would buy the products that suit their societies in the state of economic development that they are in now, rather than the state that they aspire to.

Thus they are paying a premium to the American consumer to choose winning industries for them. One question is, how much is this service worth to them, and at what point does it become a losing bet? Another prediction that can be made is that what would kill this funding of the deficit stone dead would be import controls.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info »

5:19 PM  

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