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China’s Fed critics vocalize concerns

Scott Tong Mar 20, 2009
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China’s Fed critics vocalize concerns

Scott Tong Mar 20, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: In just a couple days, the dollar’s dropped 5 percent versus the euro. It’s fallen 3 percent versus the yen. The dollar is getting hit because of the new plan the Federal Reserve announced earlier this week. The Fed’s buying up Treasuries and other securities. The idea is to inject another trillion dollars into the economy.

In effect, the Fed’s creating money out of thin air. Fear is too many dollars out there will erode the greenback’s value further. The dollar’s biggest foreign investor is China, and critics there are taking the Fed to task. Marketplace’s Scott Tong has more from Shanghai.


Scott Tong: China’s influential Southern Metropolitan Daily ran an editorial today dripping with sarcasm. Americans have run out of market principles, it read. All it has left is the roar of banknote printing machines. It compared the dollar’s credit-worthiness to Cambodia’s currency.

Chinese economist Zha Xiaogang:

Zha Xiaogang: I think it’s natural for other countries would feel nervous about the prospects of the U.S. dollar.

China has about a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury and agency bonds. The Chinese body holding them is known by the acronym SAFE. Which doesn’t feel so safe, given its latest actions.

Xiaogang: The SAFE has bought more short-term U.S. Treasury bills rather than long-term U.S. Treasury bonds.

That, he says, means Beijing is losing faith in the dollar long-term.

Asian traders concur. The greenback fell today in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and here in China.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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