20 Dec '11, 5am

Michael Spence: The Exchange-Rate Delusion

Michael Spence: The Exchange-Rate Delusion

A 100 yuan banknote (R) is placed next to a US$100 banknote. -- PHOTO : REUTERS MILAN - If one looks at the trade patterns of the global economy's two biggest players, two facts leap out. One is that, while the United States runs a trade deficit with almost everyone, including Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, not to mention the oil-exporting countries, the largest deficit is with China. If trade data were re-calculated to reflect the country of origin of various components of value-added, the general picture would not change, but the relative magnitudes would: higher US deficits with Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, and a dramatically lower deficit with China. The second fact is that Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan - all relatively high-income economies - have a large trade surplus with China. Germany has relatively balanced tr...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/Project_Syndicate/Story/STISt...

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