Regarding Barry Eichengreen’s opinion article, “What can take the dollar’s place?“: The naivete of the American consumer and the greed of international corporations allowed the accumulation of dollars in Japan and China, which were used to further the economic needs of those outside the United States rather than to buy U.S. products. U.S. production moved to places with lower labor costs and taxes. The resulting trade imbalance caused the U.S. economy to stagnate and endangered the economic health of countries that depend on Americans to purchase their products.
The U.S. will respond unwisely. It now owes so much money that it will devalue the dollar in hopes of paying off its debt. The result will be worldwide economic chaos. When no currency can be trusted to have an enduring purchasing power, how can business negotiations be concluded, and payments transacted?
America is the 800-pound gorilla that world economic leaders assumed would remain stupid and quiet. It may remain stupid, but the noise it makes will be heard in every nation and felt in every businessman’s pocket.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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