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Global currencies and a weak dollar: what does it mean?

Marketplace Staff Oct 22, 2010
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Global currencies and a weak dollar: what does it mean?

Marketplace Staff Oct 22, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

CHIOTAKIS: Central bankers and finance ministers from the group of 20 industrialized nations — the G20 as we know it are meeting in Seoul, South Korea today. The agenda includes banking regulation and reform of the International Monetary Fund. But there’s an even squeakier wheel getting a lot of grease at the moment: global currencies. Countries have been trying to manipulate their currency to boost exports, and that’s pitting nations against one another. Jill Schlesinger is editor at large at CBS MoneyWatch. She’s with us every Friday, live from New York.

Good morning Jill.

JILL SCHLESINGER: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: Are finance ministers really concerned about a global currency war?

SCHLESINGER: Absolutely concerned, but I don’t think it’s in any countries best interest to become embroiled in a currency war, or to even pursue protectionist policies. You know I see it in a similar way as the nuclear deterrent. Going to war over currency or trade really does equate to mutually assured destruction. In this case, economic destruction.

CHIOTAKIS: We remember that term if we grew up in the, what — 60s and 70s, right?

SCHLESINGER: Yeah.

CHIOTAKIS: We’re good Americans, don’t we want the dollar to be strong?

SCHLESINGER: Well, it really does cut both ways. A weak dollar makes it more expensive for U.S. consumers to purchase certain imported commodities like oil and gas, or French wines and cheese. But a weak dollar makes U.S. made products cheaper abroad. That helps our manufacturers export more good overseas. It could also get them to hire a more if business picks up.

CHIOTAKIS: Well, we’re going to see what happens out of the G-20 summer in Seoul. Thanks so much, Jill Schlesinger from CBS MoneyWatch.

SCHLESINGER: Great to be with you.

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