Posts Tagged ‘strong dollar’

The strong dollar

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It is interesting to see how the FOREX market moves in waves and trends.

Not that long ago everyone was talking and blogging about the weak dollar, the end of America’s economic hegemony and its unsolvable deficit, deflation and the search for a replacement to the greenback.

Just a few months later the dollar has appreciated by 10% and the same bloggers are starting to worry if this dollar strength will have dire consequences. Here this discussion is focused on the USD versus Euro rate, a good summary of dollar strength or weakness.

This is all a matter of perspective. In my mind the EUR fluctuates in a big range [1.20-155] and this is where it belongs. Parity of purchasing power is a concept that traders and short-term investors tend to forget, but this is truly what defines the exchange rate. There are arbitrages from real good markets that guarantee that the dollar cannot stay too strong against the euro forĀ  a prolonged period of time, and vice versa.

This fundamental truth is getting truer and truer and this is what guarantees that PPA theory will have its moment of glory. This is truer because the world is more integrated and arbitrages in real goods are easier and more predominant.

For example retired people in Europe may decide to buy their second home in Spain or in Florida. In the upper middle class this is common and the level of the exchange rate will be a significant determinant in their choice. As flying is easy and cheap, it does not make much difference to fly from Budapest to Barcelona or Miami.

The Internet facilitates the buying of all kinds of products that will be manufactured on the continent with the more favorable exchange rate. If one of the currencies were to diverge too much, natural commerce adjustments will occur that will modify supply demand to reverse the imbalance and the trend.

America and Europe are getting more alike, culturally and commercially, hence their currencies will stay in line for the most part. So expect the EUR to stay within [1.20-1.55] in the foreseeable future. But of course play the small trends and swings for short-term trading profits.