Is U.S. waging a 'cold war' to weaken the dollar?


By Daniel Shane
CNN, Atlanta
Friday, February 2, 2018

The dollar is at its weakest level in years against other major currencies. Experts say the drop is being driven, at least in part, by the U.S. government. And some suggest it's a deliberate campaign aimed at boosting the American economy at the expense of major trading partners like Europe and Japan.

The Trump administration is engaged in "a cold currency war -- and it's winning," Joachim Fels, an economist at investment firm Pimco, said this week.

Rather than an open conflict, which would involve direct intervention in currency markets, the hostilities come in the form of words and "covert" actions, he wrote in a blog post. ...

Fels points to the Trump administration's moves to slash taxes and boost spending, which he says are coming at "the wrong time" -- when the economy is already in good shape. The measures will pile on more government debt, making investors less eager to own dollar assets, like U.S. Treasury bonds.

Policies like that "are sending an implicit but very clear signal to markets: A weaker dollar is the goal," Fels wrote. "Markets have understood the signal." ...

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