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America Doesn't Need A Strong Dollar Policy

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  • US Dollar: The Good & the Bad of Being World's Currency

    Clip: Steve Forbes, Jr., American publishing executive of Forbes magazine, and James Grant, Editor and Founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, debate the desirability of being the world's standard currency.

  • Frederic Mishkin: Strong Dollar Will Damage US Economy

    Clip: Frederic Mishkin, American economist and professor at the Columbia Business School argues why a weaker dollar is ironically more beneficial to America's economic recovery.

  • Steve Forbes: A Weak Dollar Is a Destructive Virus

    Clip: Steve Forbes, Jr., American publishing executive of Forbes magazine, asserts why a weak dollar has a destructive rippling effect throughout the entirety of the American economy.

  • Government Needs Flexibility

    Clip: Debaters argue the motion "America Doesn't Need a Strong Dollar Policy."

  • Stability of the Gold Standard

    Clip: Debaters argue the motion "America Doesn't Need a Strong Dollar Policy."

Debate Details

It’s often taken for granted that America needs a strong dollar.  When the value of the U.S. dollar is strong relative to other currencies, it becomes attractive to investors and allows Americans to buy foreign goods and services cheaply.  But in times of recession, are we better off with a weak dollar that stimulates U.S. manufacturing by making our goods cheaper and more competitive?  Or will the loss of purchasing power and currency manipulation abroad, offset the potential gains?

The Debaters

For the motion

Frederic Mishkin

Professor, Columbia Business School

Frederic S. Mishkin is the Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. ... Read More

John Taylor

Chairman and Founder, FX Concepts

In 1981 John Taylor founded FX Concepts, a multi-faceted investment management company, which today manages over $4 billion in currency absolute return... Read More

Against the motion

Steve Forbes

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media

Steve Forbes is chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment... Read More

James Grant

Editor and Founder, Grant's Interest Rate Observer

James Grant is the editor and founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, a twice-monthly journal of the financial markets. Grant originated the "Current... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • The direction of the dollar matters far less than the set of conditions that is determining its strength or weakness.
  • The strong dollar policy is based on an overestimation of the impact of the dollar's strength on the economy.
  • In times of recession, a weak dollar that makes American goods cheaper, and stimulates manufacturing and job growth, is preferable to a strong dollar.
  • An increase in exports will increase our GDP and decrease our trade deficit.
Against The Motion
  • While a weak dollar may offer some short-term solutions, a strong dollar policy is the only long-term solution for a stable and robust economy.
  • A falling dollar will mean higher energy and food costs, rising inflation and interest rates, and expensive imports.
  • We need a strong dollar to keep global confidence high and ensure that foreigners continue to see it as a good investment.
  • A strong dollar is important to maintain the dollar's status as the global reserve currency.

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Post-Debate

The Research

The Research

Winners and Losers as the Dollar Falls

Bill Marsh
December 6, 2009

Who gains and loses when the dollar falls.

Weak Dollar, Strong Dollar

Emil W. Henry
April 11, 2012

The US strong dollar policy is not strong enough. The Obama administration says it supports a strong dollar, but its major fiscal initiatives suggest otherwise. As our currency erodes, the U.S. strong dollar policy needs to be enhanced so those who claim its mantle are held accountable to achieve it.

Needed: Plain Talk About the Dollar

Christina Romer
May 21, 2011

Our exchange rate is just a price — the price of the dollar in terms of other currencies. It is not controlled by anyone. And a high price for the dollar, which is what we mean by a strong dollar, is not always desirable.

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