Word came down from Temple Obama that Treasury Secretary, Timothy ‘Turbo-Tax’ Geithner, will sit on a report concerning China’s manipulation of it’s currency. The report was due to be released on ‘Tax Appreciation Day’ (Hah!), otherwise known as April 15th. Congress had requested a study just as it is getting ready to deal with financial reforms. There is even a glimmer of bipartisan interest, as China’s actions have a negative effect on both business and labor here in the U.S.. Well, some businesses. If you’re a hedge fund jihadist, then you love a nicely rigged game to bet on.
This news comes after a news story that President Obama spoke for over an hour with Chinese President Hu Jinato on Thursday. The conversation even delayed Air Force One from taking off for some ten minutes. Some have been some chit-chat they had. The White House official statement is that China will assist in bilateral talks over nuclear weapon issues with Iran and North Korea. I think we’ve heard that tune before a few times. Geithner says the delay is to allow him time to discuss matters with central bankers and G20 financial ministers.
Here’s my non-journalistic, op-ed-only take on the subject. The Chinese threatened us, once again, and Obama backed down, once again. It’s understandable. Here we are, in a race to the bottom with the Chinese as to who can depreciate their currency faster. Our last game of chicken with the Soviets worked out, or so it seemed. That time the game was who could spend more money to build more and better weapon systems.
The advantage of having cheap currency is that it makes your export goods more attractive in the global market. In a truly honest economic system, say where all currencies are pegged to gold, then trade imbalances would eventually drive one currency down and the other up, until a point is reached where the goods sold by the nation leading in trade would cost too much. Manufacturing jobs would then migrate to the losing nation, as capital would buy more. It’s the natural ebb and flow of Capitalism. But, neither the Chinese or our currencies are pegged to anything intrinsic in value. So the game is rigged by both players cheating their citizens out of their labor and lives.
This sort of game can only end badly for both. Rumors abound of a housing and asset bubble brewing in China, ready to burst. While the two governments squabble over this, the real danger is what happens when outsiders get in on the act. We saw a few weeks ago how currency speculator, Vince Stazione issued a press release about the UK going bust with hedge fund jihadist, Jim Rogers’ name attached to it. On February 25th, the day of the press release, the UK pound took a big hit. Rogers denied the comment, but still attended as a speaker to one of Stazione’s get-rich-quick seminars, after Vince issued a retraction. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/02/26/159811/shock-jim-rogers-didnt-say-sterling-shall-collapse/
Oddly enough, Rogers did bash the pound earlier on January 21st http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/jim-rogers-sell-any-sterling-you-might-have-its-finished-1452384.html, and then again on March 19th. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-19/jim-rogers-shunning-pretty-bad-sterling-on-trade-deficit.html Rogers, an old pal of financial jihadist and Obama-supporter, George Soros, is well-positioned to attack currencies. His latest digs are against gold, the U.S. dollar and the nation of Greece. Rogers even thinks Greece going bankrupt would be good for the Euro, though only for the short run. http://www.commodityonline.com/news/World-needs-new-currency-not-dollar-Jim-Rogers-26652-3-1.html
Timothy Geithner may as well just hide his report on China’s currency manipulation in the same ‘lock-box’ that has the notes of Obama’s back-room deal with Big Pharma and Al Gore’s patent for the Internet. $5 will get you $10 that when a report is released, it will be ’scrubbed’ as squeaky clean as possible. If you want any sort of truth, you may have to wait for Nick Cage to make, “National Treasure IV: Barry Soetoro’s Passport”.