Is the World on the Brink of a Currency War?
From The Curious Capitalist
February 21, 2013 - 5:45am
The latest hot topic among economic talking heads is the coming currency war. According to conventional wisdom, there’s a risk that major countries will – simultaneously – try to revive their sluggish economies by pushing down the value of their currencies. That strategy could backfire, according to this line of thought, stifling international trade, tipping economies back into recession, and possibly causing Depression-style hyperinflation to boot. Get ready to sell apples on the nearest street corner and buy your morning coffee with a wheelbarrow full of paper money. It all sounds very unpleasant. But the dogs of war are unlikely to slip their leash. In a classic currency war, a country prints money, holds interest rates down, or intervenes in foreign exchange markets in order to depress the value of its own currency. That makes the country’s exports cheaper and more attractive for foreign buyers. In theory, this can enable an economy to grow faster than would be possible on the basis of domestic demand alone. Only trouble is, if every country pursues a similar strategy, they all devalue their currencies at the same time and no country gains an advantage over its tra...
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