Torres, Gregorius lead Yankees past Twins, into ALCS

© Reuters. MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins © Reuters. MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins

After completing a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series with a 5-1 victory on Monday night in Minneapolis, the New York Yankees get a four-day break before opening the American League Championship Series on Saturday.

Where and against whom they will play has yet to be the determined. The Houston Astros, who own the edge for home-field advantage by virtue of their major-league-best 107 wins, hold a 2-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays heading into Game 4 of their ALDS on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“We’ll enjoy watching that series unfold and we’ll get ready for whoever it is,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after getting doused with beer and champagne. “We’re going to spend the night here and fly back tomorrow. We’re going to try and shut it off for the next 10 or 12 hours.”

Gleyber Torres homered and doubled twice, and Cameron Maybin also hit a home run as the New York made it 13 playoff wins in a row over Minnesota, which also lost its 16th consecutive postseason games to extend its major league record.

Didi Gregorius also had two hits and two RBIs, and Brett Gardner added an RBI single for New York, which became the first team to sweep a 100-win opponent in a division series.

Chad Green (1-0), one of six pitchers used by New York on Monday, picked up the win with 1 1/3 shutout innings of relief. Aroldis Chapman recorded the final five outs to get the save, striking Nelson Cruz out looking with runners on first and second to end the game.

“The way we played tonight was championship-caliber baseball,” Boone said. “The amount of big-time plays these guys made on defense, the amount of big pitches they made in big spots … Minnesota brought it tonight, but our guys time and time again were able to make a great defensive play or a big-time pitch.”

Eddie Rosario singled, doubled and homered, and Luis Arraez had a double among his two hits, but Minnesota finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Starter Jake Odorizzi (0-1) took the loss, giving up two runs on five hits over five innings, striking out five and not walking a batter.

“I mean it when I say to you that I do not sit here frustrated at all,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli of his team, which set a major league record with 307 home runs, including five players with 30 or more, while winning 101 games. “Our guys should be walking out of that clubhouse with their heads held high. They never stopped playing.”

Torres (22 years, 298 days) gave New York a 1-0 lead it would never relinquish in the second inning with a 376-foot home run barely over the glove of Twins left fielder Jake Cave, becoming the youngest Yankee to homer in a postseason game since Derek Jeter (22 years, 105 days) did so in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS.

That Jeter homer is well-remembered because 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence to pull the ball into the stands, with the umpires failing to call fan interference.

“He loves the stage,” Boone said of Torres. “What more can you say? He’s such a great two-way player and clearly loves playing in the postseason.”

The Yankees extended their lead to 2-0 in the third when Gio Urshela led off with a double and scored two outs later on Gardner’s single.

New York made it 3-0 in seventh when Torres lined a double off the left field wall and scored one out later on a single by Gregorius.

Rosario cut it to 3-1 in eighth when he lined a 412-foot homer to dead center off Zack Britton. Maybin answered with a home run just inside the left field foul pole in the ninth off Sergio Romo, and Gregorius added an RBI single to end the scoring.

Including the playoffs, Gregorius has 30 RBIs in 13 games vs. the Twins since the start of 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka ease into China Open last 16, Angelique Kerber knocked out

Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka ease into China Open last 16, Angelique Kerber knocked out Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka ease into China Open last 16, Angelique Kerber knocked out

(Reuters) – Top seeds Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka cruised into the last 16 of the China Open with straight sets victories in their second round matches in Beijing on Tuesday.

World number one Barty, who received a bye into the second round, started her campaign with a 6-4 6-2 win over Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, wrapping up the contest in 75 minutes.

Barty fired seven aces, converted four of nine break points and smashed 23 winners in a clinical display which she said was enough to get the job done.

“It was solid today without being fantastic,” Barty said. “It was what we needed to do today. There were times where it was pretty good and there were times where it was challenging.

“It’s a court that I think is tough to neutralize and play defense over a long period. It’s definitely a court that you get your bang for buck and you get value when you try to take the initiative.”

Japan’s Osaka, seeded fourth, needed only 59 minutes to brush aside German qualifier Andrea Petkovic with a dominant 6-2 6-0 win.

Osaka converted five break points and fired 21 winners in a one-sided contest to set up a clash with American Alison Riske, who beat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 3-6 6-4 in the only three-set match of the day.

Angelique Kerber’s poor form dragged on after another early exit at the hands of Slovenia’s Polona Hercog who won 6-4 6-2.

Apart from a semi-final run in Osaka, 10th seed Kerber has not moved past the second round of tournaments in Zhengzhou, Wuhan and now Beijing.

China’s Zheng Saisai converted five of six break points to beat former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-1 in 76 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with Barty.

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova beat France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-4 but 12th seed Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Wuhan Open title over the weekend was knocked out by Russia’s unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-4 7-6(5).

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Japan’s LDP (Abe’s ruling party) will propose tax breaks to encourage retained earnings into new businesses

The headline is my generous reading of this news in the Nikkei

  • Japan’s ruling party will propose tax breaks to encourage businesses to channel their record stashes of cash into mergers and acquisitions that fuel new thinking and businesses.

Akira Amari, the Liberal Democratic Party’s tax policy chief, to the Nikkei in an interview.

  • considering a tax credit to encourage business to invest retained earnings in new businesses
  • seek to incentivize investments in other companies and startups 
The headline is my generous reading of this news in the Nikkei

I quite like it. 


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Learning point from BoE’s Saunders: When a hawk turns into a dove

FX lessons



Learning point this am which we shouldn’t let pass. 

When a hawkish board member makes a dovish comment

This is what happened earlier. Bank of England’s Saunders is a hawk, but his comments about not delaying a necessary rate cut because of Brexit were dovish. See here for his earlier comments.

The reactions in the GBP were instant.  


hawk turns dove


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In swipe at Trump, China tells U.N. tariffs could plunge world into recession

© Reuters. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York © Reuters. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York

By David Lawder and David Brunnstrom

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The Chinese government’s top diplomat said on Friday that tariffs and trade disputes could plunge the world into recession and Beijing was committed to resolving them in a “calm, rational and cooperative manner.”

In a blunt speech to the annual United Nations General Assembly, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: “Erecting walls will not resolve global challenges, and blaming others for one’s own problems does not work. The lessons of the Great Depression should not be forgotten.”

Taking a clear swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump, who started a damaging trade war on China nearly 15 months ago, Wang added, without naming the U.S. leader:

“Tariffs and provocation of trade disputes, which upset global industrial and supply chains, serve to undermine the multilateral trade regime and global economic and trade order.

“They may even plunge the world into recession.”

In successive rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs, the United States and China have levied punitive duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods, roiling financial markets and threatening global growth.

A new round of high-level talks between the world’s two largest economies is expected in Washington in the first half of October.

Wang’s remarks, unusually pointed for a Chinese diplomat, coincided with word that the Trump administration is considering radical new financial pressure tactics on Beijing, including the possibility of delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.

Sources told Reuters on Friday that the move would be part of a broader effort to limit U.S. investments into Chinese companies, in part because of growing security concerns about their activities.

News of the potential restrictions on portfolio investments restrictions sent U.S. stocks and oil prices lower on Friday on fears that U.S.-China trade tensions would again escalate. An increase in U.S. tariffs to 30% from 25% on $ 250 billion in Chinese imports is scheduled for Oct. 15 if no progress is made before then.

U.S. and Chinese rhetoric on trade this week had seesawed between harsher and more conciliatory, with Trump issuing a sharp rebuke of China’s trade practices and state-led development model in his speech before the General Assembly on Tuesday, adding that he would not accept a “bad deal.”

On the same day, Wang warned the United States not to interfere with China’s sovereignty. But on Thursday he said China was willing to consider increased purchases of farm products and predicted that talks would lead to a resolution if both sides took more steps to improve goodwill.

Trump said on Wednesday a trade deal with China could come sooner than people think, and praised the Chinese purchases.


At the United Nations, Wang also took aim at Trump’s policy on North Korea, in which groundbreaking talks between Pyongyang and Washington have stalled, largely over the U.S. refusal to ease punishing sanctions.

Wang said it was necessary for the United Nations to consider invoking the rollback terms of North Korea-related sanctions resolutions “in the light of new developments” on the Korean Peninsula “to bolster the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.”

He said “the realistic and viable way forward” was to promote “parallel progress in denuclearization and the establishment of a peace mechanism” to gradually build trust “through phased and synchronized actions.”

Wang criticized the U.S. withdrawal this year from a treaty governing intermediate range nuclear missiles, and said China was against the deployment of such missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said China would continue to take an active role in the international arms control process and added that it has initiated domestic legal procedures to join the Arms Trade Treaty.

Trump has said he intends to revoke the U.S. signature to the treaty, which regulates the $ 70 billion global cross-border trade in conventional arms and seeks to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.

So far, 104 countries have joined the pact, which the General Assembly approved in 2013.

Wang reiterated comments made earlier in the week, stressing China’s commitment to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country, an apparent reference to Beijing’s displeasure at criticism of its handling of protests in Hong Kong.

“On the international stage, we speak for justice and oppose hegemonism or bullying,” Wang said.

Shortly before Wang’s speech, China and Kiribati formally resumed diplomatic ties at a ceremony he presided over at the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

The move followed the Pacific island state’s decision to ditch relations with Taiwan, which the United States supports with arms supplies and which Beijing considers a renegade province.

“I do believe that there is much to learn and gain from the People’s Republic of China, and the re-establishment of our diplomatic relations is just the beginning,” Kiribati’s President Taneti Maamau said at the event.

The Solomon Islands and Kiribati are the latest countries to switch relations to China, leaving self-ruled Taiwan with formal ties to only 15 countries.

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Trump: Hopes for allowing China into WTO have failed

Trump on China at the UN

Trump on China at the UN
  • China hasn’t adopted promised reforms
  • China uses heavy state subsidies, steals IP
  • Cites company stealing Micron’s products in China
  • WTO needs drastic change
  • World’s second-largest economy shouldn’t be allowed to call itself a developing country
  • The days of globalism are over
  • Says he’s placed tariffs on over $ 500B of Chinese goods
  • Hopefully we can find a deal that’s good for both countries, but I will not accept a bad deal
  • Says carefully watching situation in Hong Kong
  • Expects China to honor treaty on Hong Kong

If you’re China and listening to that, do you really think Trump wants to make a long-term deal?

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Kyrgios goes quietly into the New York night

© Reuters. Tennis: US Open © Reuters. Tennis: US Open

By Frank Pingue

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios was a lightning rod for controversy at the U.S. Open this week but the fiery Australian was subdued after a third-round loss on Saturday and walked away quietly from the year’s final Grand Slam.

Kyrgios did deliver a one-word jab at a line judge early in his straight-sets loss to Russian Andrey Rublev but otherwise steered clear of any of the sort of drama that he made headlines for earlier in the week.

The Australian delivered a serving masterclass against Rublev but generally lacked his usual intensity and at one point during the match a microphone picked up Kyrgios saying he did not even want to be there.

Still, after the 7-6(5) 7-6(5) 6-3 loss under the bright Arthur Ashe Stadium lights, the Australian 28th seed did not point the blame at anyone but himself.

“He played great tonight. Was super aggressive. I never felt comfortable. That was just credit to him playing his game. Yeah, it was tough,” said Kyrgios. “Nowhere near my best tennis.”

During the first set of his third-round loss Kyrgios did shout “whistleblower” from his seat in the direction of a line judge who had gone to the chair umpire to report foul language.

It marked a very subdued ending to a week in which Kyrgios got in hot water for calling the ATP corrupt, yelled at fans for leaving their seats during his serve, and threatened not to start a match over a dispute about his outfit.

When asked about the comment picked up by microphones Kyrgios said he has been on the road for over five months and he does not have much down time before playing for Team World at the Sept. 20-22 Laver Cup in Switzerland.

“We’ll see how the scheduling works out. I guess that’s a disadvantage playing from Australia,” said Kyrgios. “I got the very important Asia swing. Don’t want to miss that.”

After Kyrgios suggested he may need rest, one journalist asked if he would in fact welcome a suspension for the way he spoke about the governing body of men’s tennis.

“I don’t know if I look at it like that,” Kyrgios said smiling. “I don’t know. I have no say in it. I guess it’s out of my control.”

Kyrgios was in no mood for controversy on this night, and even resisted getting into it with a reporter who asked what he needs to focus on to maximize his tennis potential.

“I don’t know,” Kyrgios shot back. “You guys are the experts. You tell me.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Google sign language AI turns hand gestures into speech

Google says it has made it possible for a smartphone to interpret and “read aloud” sign language.

The tech firm has not made an app of its own but has published algorithms which it hopes developers will use to make their own apps.

Until now, this type of software has only worked on PCs.

Campaigners from the hearing-impaired community have welcomed the move, but say the tech might struggle to fully grasp some conversations.

In an AI blog, Google research engineers Valentin Bazarevsky and Fan Zhang said the intention of the freely published technology was to serve as “the basis for sign language understanding”. It was created in partnership with image software company MediaPipe.

“We’re excited to see what people come up with. For our part, we will continue our research to make the technology more robust and to stabilise tracking, increasing the number of gestures we can reliably detect,” a spokeswoman for Google told the BBC.

Google acknowledges this is a first step. Campaigners say an app that produced audio from hand signals alone would miss any facial expressions or speed of signing and these can change the meaning of what is being discussed.

Also, any regionalisms which exist in a local area would not be included.

Jesal Vishnuram, Action on Hearing Loss’s technology manager, says the initiative is a good first step for hearing people, but that it needs to be paired with other capabilities.

“From a deaf person’s perspective, it’d be more beneficial for software to be developed which could provide automated translations of text or audio into British Sign Language (BSL) to help everyday conversations and reduce isolation in the hearing world,” he said.

Hidden fingers

Until now, when trying to track hands on video, finger-bending and flicks of the wrist have hidden other parts of the hand. This confused earlier versions of this kind of software.

Google imposes a graph on 21 points across the fingers, palm and back of the hand, making it easier to understand a hand signal if the hand and arm twist or two fingers touch.

Other large US software providers have developed technologies that have attempted to read aloud sign language on PCs.

Last year, Microsoft teamed up with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to use desktop computers in classrooms that helped students with hearing disabilities via a presentation translator.

In a blog, students described having previously missed some of what their professors had said because they had to keep switching attention from human sign language interpreters to what was being written on the board.

But by having all the viewing information presented via a desktop, the problem was solved.

Elsewhere in the world, innovators have created their own home-grown tech.

One 25-year-old developer in Kenya has built a pair of haptic gloves that translate sign language to an Android application which reads the text aloud.

Roy Allela made the gloves for his hearing-impaired niece, and his innovation recently won an award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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Forexlive Americas FX news wrap: US yields recover a bit into the weekend

Forex news for NY trading on August 16, 2019

Yes this week, had a day when the Dow and Nasdaq each fell over 3%. However, this week was really about yields. 

  • The 10 year yield moved from 1.745 last Friday to a low of 1.4732 before rebounding yesterday afternoon and today and are currently trading at 1.555%.  Nevertheless, that is a 10.9% decline for the week or nearly 20 basis points.  PS at the lows, the yield reached 1.4732% or -15.56% for the week.  

Forex news for NY trading on August 16, 2019

  • The 2-10 year spread went negative for the first time since 2007 (see chart below) 
The 2-10s spread traded negative for the first time since 2007

Those were the catalysts for the tumble in stocks for the week. 

The fundamental reason for the fall?  

Despite concession by the Trump administration that some of the China tariffs would be delayed until December (and some will not take place at all), the anxiety about what can and will be done as far as “a deal” remains sketchy at best.  It is the US’s Brexit dilemma. 

This week, China’s Xi said:

  • We will retaliate if tariffs go into effect in September
  • Let’s meet half way
  • Hong Kong is none of your business.

Pres. Trump said:

  • A deal will be on US terms
  • Xi should go talk to the protesters
  • The US will win

In addition, other central banks are ready to and willing to go low(er) even if the US is reluctant.   

The EU’s Rehn said that the it is better to be safe than sorry (the chance of a 20 bp cut went up for the ECB), and the Bank of Mexico went ahead and had a surprise cut. Last week, the RBNZ cut by 50 bps instead of 25 bps.  

The global trend is for lower rates and that has the market marking down rates in the US as well.  

The European 10 year yields are all making all time lows.  Germany’s low yield today was -0.727% before rebounding, and Spain got within 0.02% of reaching 0.0% (see lows in the chart below). 

European 10 year yields rebounded after nearly dragging the Spanish yields to negative

With the US 10 year at 1.56%, it seems like a steal, especially if the fundamental backdrop for the economies of the world are unknown and loaded with increased risks. 

US yields are mixed today

Now it is not alll doom and gloom.  The data in the US this week was good enough to have the Atlanta Fed GDPNow rise from 1.9% to 2.2% and the NY Fed to rise to 1.82% from 1.58% (vs a week ago). Those are better than the German and UK GDP most recent numbers which were negative.  

The key event in the new week will be Chair Powells testimony at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium  on Friday.  With Pres. Trump getting on his case big time especially as stocks fell, and the market looking for 3 more cuts in 2019, the market will be looking for a dovish Fed chair (is there any choice?)  

In summary for the forex market this week (see the 5 day ranking of the strongest and the weakest), the GBP was the the strongest of the major currencies and the EUR was the weakest (helped by the Rehn comments). The USD was mostly higher with the largest gains vs the EUR at 0.98% and the largest decline vs the GBP (-0.94%).  The EURGBP was the largest moving pair with a 1.98% move (EURGBP fell -1.98%).  

That may just be covering in the GBP. Afterall the CBOT speculative positions still has the GBP shorts as the largest position. So a short squeeze is not out a surprise.  However, the Brexit clock is still ticking and Germany today was encouraging the EU27 to stick to their guns on the current deal.   PM Johnson will be going to Europe next week to meet France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel who may just say “sod off mate” (or the equivalent) when he comes looking for a compromise.  That may weaken the GBP again.   

The 5 day ranking of the major currencies. Wishing all a good and safe weekend.

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Don’t Fall Into the Weak-Dollar Trap

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Like most people, I aim to avoid existential dread. I try not to think about the fragility of the vast interconnected global economy or the complicated infrastructure systems that we take for granted, or what would happen if the social contract broke down.

Usually, that’s not too difficult. Lately, however, American politicians’ reckless attitude toward the U.S. dollar has made me consider those uncomfortable thoughts. It appears that in an effort to score easy points, they’re putting at risk a policy that could bring the financial ecosystem to its knees.

That’s only slightly hyperbolic. The U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world and has been the cornerstone of the global financial system for decades. Since 1971, when President Richard Nixon instantly halted the convertibility of dollars to gold, faith in American leadership has held a worldwide system of fiat currencies together. Sure, the currencies, including the greenback, fluctuate in the $ 5.1-trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market. But since the 1990s, the U.S. has explicitly stated that a strong dollar was in the best interest of the nation. Except for a few extraordinary circumstances, elected officials have never stepped in to manage its value.

As is often the case during the presidency of Donald Trump, that longstanding tradition may no longer apply. As Katherine Greifeld wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek, it’s increasingly unclear whether the U.S. is still committed to that strong-dollar stance. Just last month, mere hours after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the U.S. wouldn’t intervene in currency markets to weaken the dollar, Trump claimed he hadn’t ruled out such a move.

At the root of all this is the continuing trade war between the U.S. and China. The Trump administration, of course, escalated tensions last week and China retaliated at an “11” on a scale of 1 to 10, according to some on Wall Street. That included letting the yuan weaken sharply, though People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang insisted that the country wouldn’t seek competitive depreciation as a tool in the trade dispute. That didn’t stop Trump from again accusing China of “currency manipulation” in a tweet on Monday.

It would be one thing if it were just Trump. But even Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in June called for “actively managing” the dollar to bolster U.S. jobs and growth — code for weakening its value. As a reminder, here’s what she said in her proposal:

Warren cited currency management by other countries and blamed foreign investors and central banks for having “driven up the value of our currency for their own benefit.” The U.S. should work with other countries “harmed by currency misalignment,” according to the proposal.

“If we can aggressively intervene in markets to protect the interests of the wealthy and well-connected  —  as we have for decades with bailouts and subsidies  —  then we can damn well use all the tools at our disposal to protect the interests of American workers,” Warren said in the proposal.

But wait, there’s more. Just last week, a bipartisan bill introduced by Republican Senator Josh Hawley and Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin would seek to control the U.S. dollar’s exchange rate through a “market access charge” on foreign purchases of U.S. equities, debt and other assets. “This legislation creates a powerful new tool to fight back against foreign currency manipulators, encourage investment in American jobs and make our exports more competitive around the world,” Hawley said in a statement.

Even if that bill goes nowhere, the barrage of broadsides confirms that the dollar is under attack. Many market observers, for their part, already wrote the obituary on America’s longstanding policy. “Given the thrust of communication over the past two years, I continue to believe that the era of the strong-dollar policy is over,” Nathan Sheets, chief economist for PGIM Fixed Income and a former Treasury official, told Greifeld. “This is something different. What’s not yet clear is exactly how to characterize the new dollar policy and the features of the new regime.”

Some strategists are war-gaming for a more pronounced shock. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:). estimates that if Trump formally states the U.S. is abandoning the strong-dollar policy, the currency could fall by as much as 10%. So far, he hasn’t done so, instead preferring to lash out at China and the European Union for what, in his mind, amounts to active and intentional devaluation.

Many market observers expect intervention by tweet only. But Wall Street is still preparing itself for the real thing. Bank of America put out an almost 6,000-word report on Aug. 1, after the escalation in trade tensions, titled “A guide to US intervention in FX markets.” Citigroup Inc (NYSE:).’s Ebrahim Rahbari, too, published a report titled “Answering your questions about US FX intervention.” He pegged the odds of intervention over the next 12 months at 10% to 20%, with the likelihood increasing the more the dollar appreciates.

For a president who is obsessed with narrowing the U.S. trade deficit and who promised to revitalize American manufacturing, it’s understandable that persistent dollar strength is frustrating. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is up more than 2% since its low point in January, though little changed since Trump’s election in November 2016. Warren, one of the highest-polling Democratic candidates to challenge Trump in 2020, has many of the same domestic economic goals.

This is a classic case of “be careful what you wish for.” America has enjoyed the benefits of a strong and dependable dollar in many ways, including amassing $ 22 trillion of government debt without any spike in borrowing costs. Ray Dalio, the billionaire hedge fund manager who founded Bridgewater Associates, has envisioned a scenario in which that’s no longer the case because of a massive devaluation of the dollar. “We have the privileged position of being able to borrow in our own currency because we have the world’s leading reserve currency,” he said. At the time, I called losing that advantage America’s worst nightmare.

In recent years, this idea of the fragility of fiat currencies has been confined to goldbugs and doomsday prophesiers. That’s because, despite all the skeptics, the system has mostly worked. Investors across the globe have faith in the dollar, or, at least, more confidence in it than in any other currency, given that none has come close to dethroning it as the reserve-of-choice for the rest of the world. Even though the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to boost inflation, which is another way to debase a currency, it’s middling along at a consistently low rate.

Fiddling with that equilibrium for the sake of political expediency is a dangerous game. The last thing the world needs is a U.S.-led race to the bottom in currencies. Whether you think China is a full-fledged manipulator or not, America needn’t stoop to that level. A reliable dollar, free from intervention, is part of what makes the U.S. exceptional.

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