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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: It's the trade deficit, stupid! (And currency manipulation) (88 comments)

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  •  Had to read up to get a small understanding (1+ / 0-)
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    Currency intervention, also known as exchange rate intervention or foreign exchange market intervention, is the purchase or the sale of the currency on the exchange market by the fiscal authority or the monetary authority, in order to influence the value of the domestic currency.

    Chinese Yuan

    When a consumer in the U.S. buys a Chinese product, Chinese manufacturers are paid in US dollars. These U.S. dollars are then deposited in a U.S. bank account. At this point, the Chinese exporter needs to convert dollars into yuan. Through its commercial bank it sells the U.S. dollars to the Chinese central bank, the People's Bank of China. Since the trade between the United States and China does not balance, there is a shortage of yuan and a surplus of U.S. dollars in the Chinese central bank (therefore the Yuan must be 'created'). The usual remedy to this situation used in international trade would be for the Chinese central bank sell its dollars on international currency markets and buy yuan in exchange, resulting in a self-correcting system: the U.S. dollar weakens and the Chinese yuan strengthens, until equilibrium is restored and the trade gap closes.

    However, in order to avoid this situation (which would decrease Chinese exports), the Chinese central bank chooses a different solution: it slows the appreciation of the Yuan, or in some cases effectively pegs the CNY against the USD. The central bank net buys USD, then sterilizes the excess dollar flows by buying dollar-denominated assets, such as U.S. treasuries. This has the effect of keeping the excess dollars out of the currency exchange markets, where they would cause a correction in the exchange rates. Thus, the Chinese central bank manipulates the exchange rates by creating yuan and buying U.S. debt. This "printing" of Chinese Yuan by the central bank is not without consequence, however, since in excess (if yuan are created faster than domestic economic output) it would eventually lead to inflation, causing consumer prices to rise.[8][9] Economist Paul Krugman writes that by keeping its currency artificially weak China generates a dollar surplus; this means that the Chinese government has to buy up the excess dollars.[10]

    Small understanding,  but I'm learning bit by bit

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