The Currency Wars
02 December, 2010
The Currency Wars

To love to be a leader and pursuing this goal is a commonplace thing in a human society.  There are leaders whose ambitions go far beyond dreaming of ruling a country. And it’s not only that! Those who manage to find themselves at the helm, usually grow thirsty of wealth and power. And the cherished affluence can be achieved by means of ruling an economically prosperous country. Therefore, the rulers, especially of newly developing countries, usually are smart and crafty enough

to find the ways of turning their country into a rich player in the international (global) markets.   
China is the motherland of some of the most important inventions and oldest traditions, with its distinctive philosophy counts more than several thousand years of history. This country has inherited unique poetry, painting and music. And of course China is not an exception from the enthusiasm to rule the business roost.
It seems that the Chinese government has found the best method to pave its way to glory. This country is labeled as the biggest exporter all over the world. The Chinese manufactured goods can be found in any state, China indiscriminately pushing its product into any market of the world. China has been keeping value of Yuan (Renminbi) rate artificially low for decades to make the country’s exports more desirable. This bothers most of the countries. The upset  was recently revealed in their officials’ acrimonious speeches at the Group 20 Summit.
“-And the issue of the Renminbi is one that is an irritant not just to the United States, but is an irritant to a lot of China’s trading partners and those who are competing with China to sell goods around the world.” - President Barrack Obama declared. Looking at the issue closer, we will notice that China’s fragile currency had caused difficulties in the past too. George W.Bush at one time had affectively treated this biting issue. As a result, during 2005-2008, his reaction led the Chinese currency to rise in value by 21 percent. But today, as a result of Obama’s efforts, Yuan has risen for only 1 percent. China is being accused of stealing American jobs! Therefore this year, Democrats in the Congress promised Americans to pass the legislation that would impose huge tariffs on Chinese goods to reduce the benefits that Beijing has enjoyed from its currency, which, experts say, is artificially devalued by 20-25 percent.
For example, Brazil’s finance minister recently declared that the “International Currency War” had flared up. The officials involved in this matter around the world have blamed each other for destructing global demand (i.e. printing money to buy bonds), or instituting control over capital and currency. In fact, there are three battlefields. First – the Chinese currency intervening policy that we have already discussed. Second hot point that has emerged is the rich world’s monetary policy, mainly the probability that central banks plan to print money to buy government bonds,(QE) which is quite disastrous, as it won’t improve the situation. The third part of contention is how developing countries react to the fund flows.
This way or that way, it is clear that the situation is quite complicated and sadly it has caused plethora of difficulties not for one concrete country but the entire international economic system, which seems to be drowning. Still, we hope that some adroit steps will improve this confusing situation.
P.S. Tinatin Gvetadze is the authors of ‘A word to teenagers from a teenager - Our future career’, published in GJ,# 42

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