Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Monsieur Sarkozy est l'homme droit...

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline was in attendance at a French embassy reception for their new president.

Among many interesting and promising things he said was one brief chiding remark; Sarkozy says America does not need a weak dollar to compete on the world markets.

Irritation? You bet. A weak dollar makes all our prices, all our goods, much cheaper when bought overseas, and cheaper still against European products. The Euro is at present very strong, not just in comparison to the dollar but in general.

Folks, a weak dollar is not a 'result of anti-Americanism abroad' or 'a sign of a poor American economy' or anything of that nature. It is a choice, a monetary policy. To weaken a currency, you print more. That dilutes the value.

Bush has been using a weak dollar to strengthen America's economy for years, and it's worked. France, obviously, has been suffering because of this. Their products are much more expensive on the world market than ours.

It's been a great way of punishing France, and other major countries, for being so maddeningly anti-American, so pointlessly obstructive. Now Sarkozy comes, friendship and partnership in every speech to us, and points out with mildness that we don't need to punish them anymore. They're on our side.

Message received. Bush won't subordinate our economic needs to this, but there may well be a strengthening of the dollar over time, a signal to European allies that the 'war' is over.

But with oil prices rocketing upwards, perhaps this won't happen immediately. The economy so far has managed to absorb the hit, but nobody really knows how high it will go.

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