The Discerning Texan
All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I agree with Kudlow-- it is time to move aggressively to stabilize the dollar. And a business tax cut would be an excellent way to start:
Although I have never been an advocate of currency intervention by governments, there are moments in market history when unexpected interventions have worked. Clinton Treasury man Robert Rubin, a canny trader from his Wall Street days at Goldman Sachs, undertook a few interventions to buy and support the dollar in the mid 1990s. He sent a signal to currency traders, and it worked. During those years, the Greenspan Fed generally maintained firm control over the creation of new dollars. So, with a restrained money supply, the Treasury dollar-buying actions proved very effective.Read the whole thing.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is today standing at a similar crossroads. Wouldn’t this be a good time for Mr. Paulson to signal that enough is enough, and call a halt to the dollar’s decline?
Oil prices are rising. Gold prices are rising. And currency traders around the world have set up huge short-selling positions in the greenback. But a few strong words from Mr. Paulson, coupled with a few well-timed rounds of dollar-buying, could turn the U.S. currency story around.
Every time an international terrorist event occurs, like the al-Qaeda assassination attempt on former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the dollar falls. When the Turks threaten military action in Kurdistan, Iraq, with speculation that they might march toward the Kirkuk oilfields, the dollar falls. When comrade Vladimir Putin shows up in Iran, with mischief-making statements that support trade and nuclear partnerships with that terrorist government, the dollar falls. It seems as though any nasty international event leads to a dollar decline. This is not good. The dollar needs some propping up.
Ronald Reagan stated frequently that a great country should have a reliable currency. And it was the pro-growth tax cuts and counter-inflationary money of the Reagan era that ultimately reversed a 15-year dollar decline. In President Clinton’s second term, a similar policy was undertaken, and a dollar slide that began in the late 1980s under Papa Bush was reversed.
In recent news, Treasury man Paulson has in fact taken a strong-dollar step with his proposal to slash corporate tax rates. The former Goldman head honcho is working with House Ways & Means chairman Charlie Rangel to reduce the 35 percent corporate tax rate all the way down to 25 percent. This is a terrific idea. Studies have shown that 70 percent of the benefits of a corporate tax cut would go to the American workforce, boosting jobs and wages.