Pretty Graphs Track Drowning Dollar

These graphs by GOOD magazine show how much the dollar has sunk against various currencies from May 07-April 08. But don’t feel too bad, folks, at least we’re giving the South African Rand a thorough drubbing.

Currency: The Sinking Dollar [GOOD]


Edit Your Comment

  1. apotheosis says:

    Take THAT, koogerrand!

    *end zone dance*

  2. Shutaro says:

    In your face, South Africa!

  3. apotheosis says:

    The Dollar went all Sergeant Murtaugh on their asses.

  4. Hahahah! Lethal Weapon was the first thing that popped into my head. Where do I get a cheap flight down there, now is the time to see Cape of Good Hope.

  5. ironchef says:

    bush=president hoover.

  6. Bladefist says:

    @ironchef: you=idiot. Bush didn’t do this. Ben Burnake and his rate lowering bs to bail out people and banks who can’t handle settling deals on homes people can actually afford.

    But you keep blaming Bush, I’d hate you to actually have to think logically about something.

  7. amodlin says:

    @Bladefist: I agree, Bernake fucked us royally. Say it with me now “We want Greenspan! We want Greenspan!”

  8. Bladefist says:

    @amodlin: It would appear Greenspan would be better, or maybe, perhaps a monkey. Take your pick. Burnake is playing catch up. The job, is to stay ahead of the game.

  9. @Bladefist: And who was the rocket scientist who appointed Bernanke Fed chairman? Hmm?

  10. Bladefist says:

    @Steaming Pile: Hmmm, Bush? Look, I see what you’re going for. But this Ben guy is responsible. It’s his job. And he is blowing it. I hope everyday I wake up and hear Bush fired him. I don’t know, I feel there has to be some personal responsibility. If I type in the wrong text at work, and I erase the entire company database, is it my bosses fault? No. It’s my fault. I dunno. It’s touchy. If the president was anybody else, it wouldn’t get directly blamed on them.

  11. nedzeppelin says:

    graphs look more dramatic if you don’t start the scale at 0.

  12. Skankingmike says:

    hmmm.. the Canadian Dollar is about equal with the US dollar and the Peso is a few cents shy.

    Anybody else smell an NAFTA AMERO comming soon?

  13. bovinekid says:

    This is pretty good news if you’re planning on going to the World Cup in 2010.

  14. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:


    The buck stops where?

  15. beavis88 says:

    @Bladefist: I think Bush also deserves a measure of blame here, along with the Congress. We’re sustaining the Iraq “war” by printing massive amounts of funny money. The rest of the world is smart enough to realize we can’t really get away with that long term, and this is now reflected in the perceived value of the US dollar.

  16. Bladefist says:

    I’m not saying Bush or Congress is 100% clean here. I’m saying, you have one man responsible for all of it. 1 Man. And he is screwing it up. Why can’t we blame him?

  17. yaos says:

    Ok guys, don’t complain about a trade deficient when the dollar goes back up please.

  18. sirellyn says:

    @Bladefist: Bush, Bernake, Congress, the last succession of 4-5 presidents.. There’s a lot of people that have led to this mess. Bush and the complacent congress have only sped it up with ridiculous inflation to cover their costs. The US has been falling deeper into debt nearly every single year for a very long time now. I agree with SkankingMike, it’s simply way to co-incidental that the Canadian dollar and Peso would rise so sharply and now are staying nearly even with the US dollar.

    You DON’T want an Amero. Ask Europe, each country has to submit to laws that superceed your own constitutions, and you get no vote or say in the making of those laws.

  19. stacye says:

    @Bladefist: Using your database analogy, your boss would be the one to catch shit for it. If you are responsible for updating databases, it’s likely that your boss is responsible for maintaining valid backups…. or responsible for delegating that task to someone. And if he/she is a responsible boss, they would check to make sure that said back ups exist.

    This failure doesn’t rest on one mans shoulders. The fact that Bush and Congress have allowed this to go on mean they are equally at fault.

  20. foxbat2500 says:

    @Bladefist: The currency is being devalued because there is too much supply. Part of the reason for that is the need to print money to pay the 3 Trillion dolloars Iraq will cost us. That’s Bush’s fault.

    But Ironchief is wrong… Bush is far worse than Hoover. Hoover didn’t get anyone killed through his stupidity.

  21. JustThatGuy3 says:


    You’d be a lot more credible if you learned about decimal points. Take a look at the USD/Peso chart again.

  22. JustThatGuy3 says:

    This is also a classic example of misleading chart design. The $ has clearly weakened, but having these charts not start at zero makes the weakening seem greater than it actually is.

  23. Trai_Dep says:

    Here’s hoping they compare $US against Parker Bros. money w/ the choo-choos and the terrier on it.

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Oooooh. Good catch!

  25. Bladefist says:

    @foxbat2500: Ok, so you blame the 3 trillion spent on Iraq. Fair enough. Do you support national health care? It cost more for the war. I’m eagerly waiting your hypocrisy. Solely speaking of money. Don’t bring anything else into it. If Iraq’s bill is causing this, then something more expensive, cant help. Right? Right.

  26. Bladefist says:

    cost more THEN the war. My bad.

  27. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: The problem with the printing money thing: Not many people know about it. The only reason I know about it, is in Ron Paul’s bumbling ramblings, he mentioned it, and I looked it up. Maybe I read all the wrong places, but there is virtually no way for anyone to be informed on that.

  28. Orv says:

    @amodlin: Greenspan’s serial bubble-blowing is why we’re *in* this hole to begin with. Bernanke’s just the man currently holding the shovel. At least he’s studied the Great Depression, so he knows what we’re potentially up against. There are things he’s done I disagree with, but I’m not sure there’s anyone else who’d be doing a better job right now.

    @WiglyWorm: Sign on Bush’s desk: “The Buck Stops Somewhere Else.”

    To be fair, though, the president (*any* president) has very little control over the economy one way or the other. They’re always quick to take credit when it does well, though, so I guess the flip side is they tend to get blamed when it does poorly.

    @Bladefist: A national health care plan would at least have some economic benefits, by reducing the amount of money companies have to put into employee benefits. The war in Iraq is just an endless money pit, and one that’s funded off-budget to boot.

  29. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Nothing is free. And I don’t want to Hi-Jack this thread and turn it into a health care one. The costs will be re-organized, but it won’t save any of us any money.

  30. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Well, you can believe that if you want, but studies of national health care systems in other countries have found them to have lower overhead than the U.S. system. So at very least we’ll save a lot of the money that’s currently going to administrative costs and insurance company profits. Even the much-maligned government Medicare program has significantly lower overhead than private insurance, to the point where private Medicare plans have to be subsidized to compete with it.

    I realize the argument you’re making makes a certain intuitive sense, but the fact is we spend more per capita on health care than any other country, and overall we’re less healthy. Clearly there’s something inferior about our approach to the problem.

  31. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: If properly executed (ie, single-payer, not Obama’s or Hillary’s plans) then national healthcare would SAVE us money over what we are doing currently. We can’t afford NOT to do it.

    The real cause of our currency declining is that wealth is evaporating out of America. We are all becoming poorer, because we are sending our money to other countries, our government is spending money we don’t have by waging wars on credit while refusing to raise taxes to pay for them, and we are creating money to try to get us out of our problems (which is really just an “inflation tax” instead of a direct tax – how do you conservatives feel about that?). We need to fix the fundamental problems with our country, which have to do with bad government and unsustainable lifestyles, in order to stop the bleeding. Right now what we’re doing is like using a credit card to keep doing what we’re doing instead of bringing ourselves back under budget.

  32. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Bladefist: True, but maybe the money we pay will go to help people who can’t afford coverage on their own instead of buying a third Rolls for some CEO.

  33. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Dont forget about the hundreds of thousands who will lose their jobs.

    @johnva: You cant tax your way out of every problem.

    To quote Reagan:

    Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.

  34. ironchef says:

    Hmmm let’s see…

    uncontrolled deficit spending (Bush)
    Iraq war jacking up oil prices (Bush)
    Half trillion spent on Iraq war with $120 billion per year (Bush)
    No energy policy for the last 7 years (Bush)
    Weak dollar policy (Bush)
    Bernake appointment (Bush)

    LOL@bladefist for not dealing with reality.

  35. @foxbat2500: I think plenty of people died in muggings or starved in hoovervilles as a result of hoover’s stupidity.

    I’ve always thought that bush would go down in history as the 2nd worst president, right behind hoover.

    I’ve thought this since 2000.

  36. Skiffer says:

    That’s because South Africa is even more f*’ed up than the US – constant rolling blackouts, crime out the ass, mob riots, looting, and immolation of foreigners in the slums, 1-in-5 citizens plan to emigrate, and their leading candidate for the next president rapes 14 yr-old girls…oh yeah, and they smoke anti-retrovirals as hallucinogens…

  37. Bladefist says:

    @HeartBurnKid: I appreciate your sentiments. But it is not my job to provide health care for people who cannot afford it. That is called socialism. And I have a constitutional right to be free and prosper. And wealth redistribution is not what America is about.

    The Government has to abide by the Constitution and protect me. Hence Iraq. No where in the Constitution does it say anything about you have the right to have health care. You don’t.

    And those CEO’s have the right to have 40 Yatchs. Thats the premise. Call me a bad man. But I’m just a middle class white guy trying to make it. I don’t need other peoples problems. I got my own.

  38. losiek says:

    This is so much bad science that I do not even know where to start. Yes, dollar is weaker but:
    – all these charts are not to scale, 20% vs Euro and 3% vs Peso look the same,
    – arbitrarily chosen time to show what people want to believe.

  39. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Again, you can keep using your scare tactics, but you’ve got a big credibility gap to overcome. No other first-world country does it our way, and they all spend less money and have healthier populations with longer life expectancies. That makes it pretty hard to argue our health care system is the best.

  40. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Also, Iraq was never a threat to us. Invading Iraq did nothing to protect you. (Invading Afghanistan, now there I think you’d have an argument.)

  41. Bladefist says:


    uncontrolled deficit spending (Bush)
    Yes. With Congress Help.

    Iraq war jacking up oil prices (Bush)
    Nope. Not why oil is up.

    Half trillion spent on Iraq war with $120 billion per year (Bush)
    Small price to pay. I don’t want to co-exist with suicide bombers

    No energy policy for the last 7 years (Bush)
    Congress Democrats block any advances. They think taxes will fix the problem.

    Weak dollar policy (Bush)
    Bush has a weak dollar policy? I missed that.

    Bernake appointment (Bush)
    Yes, but read some comments above you. He inherited problems, and he is a bone head.

  42. ironchef says:

    bladefist probably still thinks saddam’s behind 9/11 with imaginary WMDs poised to attack america.

    so why did we invade iraq again? or did the excuse change?

  43. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Maybe we aren’t first world. Maybe we are 0 world. I think we are better then Canada, Germany, England, France, Japan, China.

    You could argue Korea.

  44. Bladefist says:

    @ironchef: Because their government allowed terrorist to hide there. OOOO quiz me again.

  45. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Better how? Certainly not from a life expectancy standpoint. Is this some touchy-feely, patriotic, “my nation right or wrong” version of “better,” or one that you can back up with numbers?

  46. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: Bzzt, try again. Saddam distrusted and disliked Al Queda. There’s no evidence they had a presence in Iraq before we invaded.

  47. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Reagan was a self-serving sophist. That would have more meaning if he wasn’t personally responsible for a lot of these destructive policies like incredible deficit spending really kicking into high gear.

    I agree that you can’t tax your way out of every problem, but I also think that you can’t deficit-spend your way out of every problem, either. Republicans seemingly refuse to accept the truth of that (though I don’t know whether *you* actually agree with the Republicans on this). The fact is, government deficit spending is costing you money by devaluing the dollars you hold. At least with progressive taxation the spending can be paid for by people who can afford it more easily (I believe this is the main reason for Republican deficit spending: to force more of the burden of paying for government onto the poor and middle class and less on the rich).

    As for government just “rearranging problems”, that’s just stupid. Do you think government was just “rearranging the problem” when they spent tons of money on defense in order to try to undermine the Soviets? Reagan was a liar, and was just using nice-sounding rhetoric while doing something entirely different.

  48. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: Well the numbers are there. I’m at work, I can’t write a senior paper for you.

    However, it’s also a bit of the touchy-feely part. I live in a country where I can have anything I want if I set my mind to it. I don’t have a 60% tax because I’m paying for people who never got up off their ass. I could go for days on this issue. Lets not?

  49. ironchef says:


    GOP majority in congress for most of his failed presidency. Bush is the one that SUBMITS the budget to congress. In his entire presidency, he only made 2 vetoes (last year, after the damage was already done).

  50. Bladefist says:

    @ironchef: I’m not a Bush fan boy man. I’m a conservative? Bush is a pitiful Conservative. jeez. I’m arguing policy, not that Bush is the best president we ever had.

  51. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Umm, before you go blaming all of these screwups on Democrats in Congress, please be aware of these facts:
    * Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress until 2006;
    * Republicans currently have large enough numbers in the Senate to block most Democratic initiatives that they disagree with. And they have used the filibuster threat heavily to force compromise. Basically, the Senate is at a stalemate on most issues except those where Bush is WAY out to the right even with respect to his own party.

  52. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: What year did our ecnonomic issues all begin? It was shortly after one party, I won’t say who, took majority over a certain part of the government. Again, I won’t say who. :)

  53. ironchef says:

    Hey Blade…
    please explain how fiscal conservatism works with a Republican President and a GOP majority from 2001-2007. The part I don’t get is how $4 Trillion dollars got overspent by fiscal conservatives when they were in charge.


  54. Orv says:

    @Bladefist: I hope and pray, then, that you never get sick while you’re out of work or working a part-time job. You’ll find out very quickly that it’s not just “people who never got up off their ass” who find themselves shut out and/or driven into bankruptcy by our healthcare system. From the way you talk I suspect you’ve had many advantages in life and have never had to see that side of things.

  55. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Are you talking about Reagan in 1980? :) Yes, a lot of our economic problems can be traced back to him.

    Our current economic problems are most directly caused by the deflation of the housing bubble and associated collapse of credit markets (which has complex causes related to bad government and unsustainable lifestyles). No Democratic policy since 2006 had anything to do with this happening.

  56. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: I went for a few years w/o health insurance. And thought about it every single day. I didn’t come from a privilledged home. I paid for everything I ever gotten. I’m still paying student loans. First few jobs, I had to pay $350 a month for shoddy health care. Which came out of my budget, which left me living in a shit apartment, drinking natural light. I never expect anyone, to ever be responsible for my costs.

    I understand life can really be hard sometimes. But, you can pull everyone down with you.

  57. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Bladefist: If you think our economic issues all began in ’96, you really aren’t paying attention at all. The seeds have all been there for the last 8 years or so, and a lot of economists have seen this coming for almost as long. Just because the chickens finally came home to roost right after the Democrats gained a slight congressional majority, does not make this their fault in the slightest.

  58. HeartBurnKid says:

    Err… ’06.

    Damn typos.

  59. Bladefist says:

    @HeartBurnKid: There are no coincidences in life. Not in politics atleast.

  60. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: The numbers on healthcare are there, but they don’t agree with your beliefs.

    As for the “touchy-feely” patriotism crap, I’d rather live in a country that actually IS great than a country where lots of people make a big show of it being the greatest country on earth while not actually doing anything to keep it that way or improve things. The fact is, this country is not the greatest country on earth in many areas. We should try to fix that instead of attacking people who point out our nations’ faults. Please understand that people who criticize America do so not because they hate America but because they love it and want to make it a better place for all.

  61. Bladefist says:

    @Orv: If you can solve the worlds problems without raising my taxes, I’m all for it.

    Most people know, when you lower taxes, the government takes in more money. So if you lower the taxes, and use the increased government revenue to fund all kinds of programs, fantastic. Have a ball.

    But politicians don’t want to help with programs. They want to Wealth Redistribute. Except for them of course. They have their tax-free savings accounts. I can’t wait for them to ask Obama about his million dollar tax-free savings account. WHOOOOOOOOO WEEEEEEEE

  62. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Umm, there are a lot of coincidinces in life and politics. For your claim to be true, you need to show that some piece of legislation that the Democrats passed (meaning they got it past the obstructionist minority of Republicans in the Senate, and thus had to have some Republican support) and somehow overrode President Bush’s veto on (meaning he had some culpability too) was the cause of our economic problems. Hint: none of this is true.

  63. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: So tax revenue would go up if we lowered taxes to zero? If your answer to that question is no, then you must admit that there is some point below which taxes are too low and revenue starts to decline.

    As for wealth redistribution, I support that. I believe that when wealth becomes too concentrated, democracy is eroded and you go to more of a system of rule by elites. This is the main reason I support progressive taxation and estate taxes. It’s not because the rich don’t “deserve” money they earned; it’s because it’s too dangerous to our nation to allow too much money to be controlled by too few people. I don’t support making things TOTALLY equal as under communism, because I think that destroys economic incentives. But the evidence clearly shows that wealth concentration is dangerous and that some level of progressive taxation and wealth redistribution is perfectly compatible with economic growth and efficiency. Even if the rich lose a larger percentage of their income to taxes, they still have a perfectly adequate incentive to make money because they portion they get to keep is still very high in absolute terms.

  64. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: I’ll admit I don’t have the energy to go back and research all of that. If you take that as a win, so be it.

    What’s easier, is to use current news. Heard of the Warner/Lieberman Climate Security Act? Another Democrat bill that would cost us more then the War, more then Health care, more then the War + Health Care * 2. For global warming. lol. Ok, fine, lets pretend global warming is real (its not), you want to tackle that RIGHT NOW? What kind of economic idiots are running congress?

  65. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: Just so you know. You’re loving congressmen are more worried about global warming, then you and your health. just a fyi.

  66. JustThatGuy3 says:


    No, most people don’t know this. In fact, empirically, it’s not true, unless taxes are at levels WAY above where we have them today (i.e. confiscatory levels, think 90%). Everyone agrees on the two endpoints of the Laffer Curve (i.e. at tax rates of 0% or 100%, gov’t revenue is zero), but the evidence is overwhelming that we’re on the left-hand side of the curve, where higher rates lead to higher revenues.

  67. Skankingmike says:

    @JustThatGuy3: HAH i just woke up.

    Still I remember when the Canadian Dollar was half the American.

    and that superhighway is coming regardless of what people say.

  68. JustThatGuy3 says:


    Well, by the exact same logic:

    People killed by foreign terrorists on US soil during the entire Clinton administration: 6 (1993 WTC bombing).

    Bush gets into office, and less than a year later we have over 3,000 deaths.

  69. Bladefist says:

    @JustThatGuy3: It can be complex and require some math. I should have been more specific. Capital gains taxes tend to always fair better for the government, the lower they are.

    Income taxes and sales taxes, we’d have to get some charts out.

  70. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: You realize, don’t you, that neither Warner nor Lieberman are Democrats, right?

    As for that bill, I haven’t kept up with the exact contents of each specific competing anti-global-warming proposal. So I can’t comment on it specifically. But it’s one of the cap-and-trade programs, right? There are other reasons to support that even if you don’t believe in global warming. It could be a way to indirectly raise gasoline taxes significantly, which I think is a good thing because it will force us to diversify away from using so much petroleum by providing a major incentive to do so while still allowing for some flexibility. And if you believe that global warming is real, then we may not have much time and it should be addressed ASAP regardless of economic cycles, etc. A better idea, in my opinion would be to simply shift taxation towards carbon taxes and away from payroll, income, or sales taxes in a revenue neutral way. That way, it wouldn’t be “costing” us so much money but would still discourage the behavior it’s trying to discourage.

  71. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: Yes I understand they are not democrats. But you can look for the support/votes of the bill.

    Independents is a pseudo term for democrat imo. That is NOT a republican ideology.

    There you go again. Using taxes to solve problems. You think people should get off oil, so you want to make it impossible for them to afford it. Shame on you. That is NOT America.

  72. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Warner is a Republican, not an independent. The fact is, there is Republican support for cap-and-trade, though obviously nowhere near at the level of Democratic support.

    As for using taxes to solve problems, isn’t that exactly the purpose of ALL taxes? Why do you think we pay taxes that support the military? It’s because we need to solve the problem of national defense. I don’t want to make it impossible for people to afford oil at all. I want to make it more costly so that they have an incentive to do something better when that makes sense. People obviously would still pay the tax and use oil when it still makes economic sense to do so. And my reasons for wanting people to move away from oil are NOT just environmental or related to global warming. I also feel it’s a national security issue that is directly tied into our foreign policy, and an economic issue in that we want to be able to compete in the future with countries that manage to do things more efficiently and use less oil.

  73. @Bladefist: “I’m not a Bush fan boy man.”

    Could have fooled the entire Consumerist over the last two days. :P

  74. JustThatGuy3 says:


    Ah, yes, the superhighway. Well, never let boring old facts about working groups to facilitate international trade and some road construction in Texas to reduce traffic congestion get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, I guess.


  75. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: I understand Warner is republican. But he is the exception, not the rule on this.

    Anyways. The incentive should be, we find another fuel that is cheaper then oil. And I mean oil’s normal price. Not your inflated oil. The government putting their foot down, will only create more economic strife.

    Anyway. Good debate. Always is with you.

  76. Bladefist says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I’m hit and miss with him. I have a strong understand of the Presidents duties, and what he has control over. I don’t blame him for things that aren’t his fault.

    I’m just saying man, I’m not his fan boy. I remain objective about him.

  77. Hopefully it’ll become too expensive to produce or manufacture anything outside of the U.S.

  78. JustThatGuy3 says:


    That’s extremely debatable as well. When cap gains taxes are lowered, there’s a spike in selling, as people rush to take advantage of the new rates, which leads to a surge in gov’t revenue. It’s not at all clear that it’s sustainable.

  79. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Well, in theory I can agree that we should just find a cheaper fuel than oil. That should be easier these days given how expensive oil has gotten. The problem is that we easily could have started trying to do that 30 years, and we didn’t. The reason that Reagan and others undercut all the research into that (yes, he directly did that) is because oil was cheap and they were basically betting on it staying cheap (among other reasons, some of which are related to the Cold War and some of which may be more nefarious/corrupt). So, one way to get the FREE MARKET to develop alternative energy technologies is simply to make oil more expensive artificially through taxes. I actually think the taxes would more just make the price reflect more of the true costs of using it – including the damage to the atmosphere and the costs to the government that may be associated with that, and the cost in blood, treasure, and moral prestige of having to center our foreign policy around protecting oil supplies. Ever consider that oil might be artificially cheap in the United States? We only have it so cheaply partly because our government pays for the protection and construction of all this infrastructure associated with producing it.

  80. crapple says:

    Isn’t Greenspan to blame for some of this mess as well? Everyone’s blaming Bernanke, but Greenspan was aware of the housing crisis and bolted. I think Bernanke’s just been left holding the bag.

  81. azntg says:

    Pretty graphs.

    I want the same magazine to make the same exact chart after the dollar gains ground again.

    It seems like people only want to make comparisons when America is not at its peak.

    @Bladefist: Independents is also a pseudo term for republican too imo. Works both ways fairly easily. Though I do get the idea that at this moment, there are more Democrat “Independents” than Republican “Independents.”

    Listen, I appreciate the alternative perspectives you bring about here. And it is a welcome change to see both the conservative and the liberal viewpoints of things since hearing the same consumer issues over and over again can become monotonous after a while.

    But lately, it seems like people feel motivated to start making random political attacks left and right with nothing else but your very presence with your current identity. As a fellow commenter and an active reader of articles posted here, it’s becoming annoying to see virtually every single articles peppered with highly charged political remarks.

    Now, some people are hard set in their ways, but could you be the leader and make an effort to express your opinions without making them so charged? I’m asking you first because I attributed you as a prime source of precedence to this trend. I’m sure people are willing to follow your lead.

  82. henwy says:

    Ummm. Isn’t the Yuan pegged to the dollar at 8 to 1? There was some recent indication the Chinese were willing to allow it to start appreciating slightly, but there’s no way that graph is correct. The value of the Yuan to the dollar should be very close to a flat line because it’s fixed.

  83. andys2i says:

    The graphs are pretty, but do you understand the reasons behind the dollars fall and why no respite looks likely? I wrote a detailed post about it here : []

    The main reason for the dollar declining are :

    1. Budget Deficit and Large import/export imbalance

    2. Interest Rates and Economy- The fed has been aggressively lowering interest rates (and increasing the money supply) to keep the economy afloat after the sub prime and credit crisis. However the consequence of low interest rates and a faltering economy is that the US becomes much less attractive to foreign investors who can get larger risk free returns by putting money in higher interest rate counties like Australia and New Zealand (official interest rates there are around 7.5% compared to 3% here in the US). Lack of foreign investment in the US reduces demand for the dollar and results in the currency depreciating. This factor is probably the most influential in currency movements.

    3. Speculation.

    I was optimistic on the US dollar recovery, but am not so sure anymore given all the bad news around.

  84. ironchef says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    good point!

  85. Cycledoc says:

    Is it Laffler curve or Laugher curve. Whatever, it’s a variation on Keynes. In the case of the current administration we’ve spent more, taxed less, deregulated and have a financial/economic disaster on our hands.

    It’s all been on Bush’s watch. When he took over there was a budget excess. Go back to the Euro vs dollar in 2000–it was in the range of .80-.90/dollar. This was before Bernanke, during Greenspan. The dollar has been losing value since the current administration decided that deficits from tax reduction and increased spending was their policy. Let’s fight a war now without paying for it… A good part of the oil price increase is simply our devalued currency. Thank you Bushies.

  86. Those small multiples have to be some sort a record for GOOD magazine data density and honesty. But I’m not sure this makes up for the absymal hot air balloons. Those just might be unforgivable.

  87. nygenxer says:


    While I agree that the Fed Chairman* normally has a greater impact on currency than the sitting US president, the policies of THIS president in particular, so bafflingly numerous, so blatantly corrupt and so wholly disastrous, have torpedoed the USD.

    With all due respect, this has been so well documented that to believe otherwise at this point is to venture into the realm of delusions.

    It’s unfortunate that the graph does not extend further back in time to 2002. Then we can watch the dollar lose almost half of its value – along with our savings and our salaries.

    Yeah, we’ve all taken a 50% pay cut. And your savings will only buy about half of what they would have in 2001.

    And your house too.

    Europeans invested in these bundled mortgages with supposed AAA ratings (meaning super safe). But let’s say your house had a market value of $250K and you had $225K outstanding on your mortgage. The market fell out so your house is will sell now for only $180, say. (This is why some people are walking away from their houses.) But since the USD has lost almost half of its value, to a European the house they indirectly invested in is really only worth about $90K.

    Part of the reason why we are bailing out these unregulated banks is in order to somewhat ease the blow to European investors, thus keeping the dollar from falling even lower. It’s anyone’s guess how well this short term bandaid will work. The American taxpayer is bailing out these banks (who for years lobbied for less regulation) with borrowed money* which in the long term will lower the value of t the dollar. (We’re still paying off the S&Ls from the 1980s you know.)

    Bernanke is in a bad spot cleaning up Greenspan’s mess, just like the next 2 or 3 or more presidents will be cleaning up Dumbya’s messes.

    *BTW, why DO we pay a private corporation interest to borrow our own money? The Fed is a private corporation that is no more federal than is Federal Express. Discuss, please.

  88. @azntg: @Bladefist: Independent is a pseudo-term for Independent. They swing both ways when it comes time to pick sides.

    Personally, I’m an Independent, who will be voting Democrat again because the Republicans time-out isn’t over yet. Lately, I’ve been listening to bits of Bill O’Reilly, Pat Buchanan, Bob Barr, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Rupert Murdoch. There’s something’s wrong when I can listen to these characters and actually agree with them.

    Once the Democrats have the helm and the Republicans have done some soul searching to figure out why the world is aligned against them, it’ll be time to bring some fresh conservatives in to balance the field.

    I gotta get my free trade, nuclear energy, and balanced fiscal policy somehow.

  89. BlackFlag55 says:

    Perhaps the day is coming when oil-producing countries won’t accept dollars in exchange for oil. Perhaps they’ll want real money instead of paper. Behind the “new financial instruments” intended to save the banks we find paper. Behind the paper we find the dollar. That is to say, more paper. The U.S. Constitution is also made of paper. What previously backed all this paper was character; a willingness to work hard and accept pain – as well as painful truths. []

    The paper dollar we have today is Keynesian. Pure and simple. Where we are today was as inevitable as gravity because Keynes was fatally flawed.

    Keynesian ideas were criticized by free market economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek. Hayek’s most famous work The Road to Serfdom, was written in 1944. Hayek taught at the London School of Economics from 1931 to 1950. Hayek criticized Keynesian economic policies for what he called their fundamentally collectivist approach, arguing that such theories, no matter their presumptively utilitarian intentions, require centralized planning, which Hayek argued leads to totalitarian abuses. Keynes seems to have been aware of the potential pitfalls of his economy theory, since, in the foreword to the German version of the ‘The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money’, he declared that “the theory of aggregated production, which is the point of [‘The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money’], nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state [eines totalen Staates] than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire.” In other words, Keynesian economics ‘works’ better in a socialist or fascist society.

    Another criticism leveled by Hayek against Keynes was that the study of the economy by the relations between aggregates is fallacious, and that recessions are caused by micro-economic factors. Hayek claimed that what start as temporary governmental fixes usually become permanent and expanding government programs, which stifle the private sector and civil society. Keynes himself described the critique as “deeply moving”, which was quoted on the cover of the Road to Serfdom. (oops. lost my attribution, sorry)

    No sensible person with enough experience can argue that what the USA is today, in practice, is a socialist state with fascist tendencies regarding how Policy is crafted. Because of a catastrophically flawed monetary policy designed to increase the world supply of negotiable currency following WWII. But, since Congress did not have the balls to go toe to toe with Communism, it was either woo the world with dollars or let Communism run away with most of the world. Dollars was the route Congress chose, and we now choke on wothless paper.

  90. nygenxer says:


    An excellent post except for the last paragraph. Central banking in the US was passed under President Wilson and the Federal Reserve Act on December 13, 1913 – well before the revolution of October 1917 and decades before the cold war.

    It is important to note that this legislation was written entirely by the bankers who supported Wilson’s election campaign (and it is interesting to note that Wilson ran on a platform of keeping the US out of WW1 & the first modern commercialized use of propaganda was utilized to convince the voting public – just three months after he took office – that entering the European conflict was the right thing to do. Of course many of the wealthy men to whom he was beholden stood to make vast amounts of money due to the new war effort sold to the public.)

    Anyhow, Wilson later described the sneaky passing of the Federal Reserve Act as his greatest regret.

    He prophetically said:

    “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

  91. coolkiwilivin says:

    Will a LIBERAL please answer this question: Do you think govt agencies like the DMV or the IRS are stellar examples of government service or name some examples are stellar service that comes from the government? Now tell me why would you want these pinheads controlling your medical care? What will happen with socialized care is not everyone’s standard will be brought up but it will be all brought down to the lowest common denominator. I could possibly be for it if EVERY member of the government were treated like all the rest of us. Ted Kennedy would be a number, if the bureaucrat wonk looked at said number and deemed that procedure unneccesary then he would not get it. End of story. But that will never happen. Our system is flawed but the consumer has ultimate control. Like that girl in CA who got approved for her treatment the day she died. Enough people made a stink about it that the insurance company changed their mind. Go protest in front of the DMV about their lousy service and see what it gets. Nothing.

  92. StoneSoupStation says:

    @Bladefist: Only the top person at any of these agencies are actually appointed by political figures, and this was initiated back in Woodrow Wilson’s presidency to keep partisan politics from interfering and influencing the day to day operations at a given agency. As the years have passed, partisan powergrabbers have attempted to alter or change the complexion of many of these agencies; some for the good, some for the bad. It would take me years to educate you on the influence of organizational methods, culture, and leadership; suffice it to say, typically where the problems arise in these agencies are at the very top, when new appointed leaders arrive with radically different agendas every four years. A president with an attitude towards a particular agency can destroy in one incident decades of hard, effective work by that agency (think FEMA’s recent debacles compared to their long history of superior assistance) By the way, the Social Security office is one of the most successful, inexpensive to administer (relatively speaking) programs in the history of our government; partisan politics regarding overall national debt have created the controversy, not the program itself.