Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rosenberg on the Economic Crisis, Part 3

By Eric Jackson10/16/10 - 02:55 PM EDT

Editor's note: Following is the third installment in a three-part interview. Here is Part 1, and here is Part 2.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Economic and market bears don't get more notable than David Rosenberg, the chief economist and strategist at Canadian investment firm Gluskin Sheff.

Rosenberg generated headlines this August when he advised clients that the "current economic malaise" is a "depression," and not "some garden-variety recession."

The former Merrill Lynch chief economist also was ahead of the pack when he raised alarms about the housing bubble in 2005 and warned of a coming recession in 2007.

In the following, final installment of my interview with him, he discusses why the dollar is about to rally and why a global currency war is such a serious problem.

Eric Jackson: Do you see a rally ahead for the U.S. dollar? It seems to be as hated now as the euro was earlier in the year when people were calling for parity.

Rosenberg: Yeah, the U.S. dollar is hugely oversold. It's ripe for a significant countertrend rally. It's probably as oversold now as the euro was 6 months ago.

Right now, Ireland's deficit-to-GDP ratio is the same as Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio. But the reality is that no one cares because people know the ECB will ride to the rescue of all these Club Med countries. At the margin, there are people who think the euro is not going to survive, but they figure, "If we buy German bonds, and the euro fails, we're getting exposure to future deutsche marks, so what the heck?" The ECB is the only major central bank that's not cutting rates or getting into quantitative easing.

So what you have in the rest of the world is a dysfunctional foreign exchange market. What history shows is that this will ultimately spill over into other asset classes. You've got China as the poster boy for these great problems in the foreign exchange market, but we know that the yuan is undervalued and China is going to march to its own drummer. And the one mistake they're not going to make with their own economy is to follow the footsteps of Japan and the aftermath of the Plaza accord and allow their currency to appreciate with all the unknown deflationary consequences down the road. So, as far as China's concerned, the most important thing is social stability, so it's unlikely that they're going to do anything radical in the foreign exchange market.

In the meantime, we've got the Fed embarking on what could be another round of quantitative easing, which is fascinating because the Bank of Japan just went two rounds of easing ... to no avail. The Swiss authorities did the same for the Swiss franc with the same result. The Fed is now pursuing a policy that is aimed at weakening the dollar in the name of economic stimulus. At the same time, we have other countries, who have seen their currencies surge like Brazil and Thailand, who have raised their income tax on bond income for foreigners. Capital controls probably come next. So, you've got a very unsettling situation in the foreign exchange market right now.


[** This post is an excerpt of the full article, which is available on by clicking here. Free Site.**]

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