Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Monday, November 22, 2004

Greenspan on Current Accounts

On November 7, I posted a link to a chart that showed the increasingly alarming decline in the Balance on Current Accounts, the quarterly reporting of the trade deficit:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NETFI/108/10yrs
My question was whether anyone could show me how that figure is good news and how that money finds its way back into the US.
Those questions were answered in this weekend's Bangor Daily News in an article about warnings FED chief Alan Greenspan gave concerning the weakening dollar. He explained how this alarming increase in the trade deficit, currently being offset by countries such as Japan, China, and England buying US Treasury Securities and foreign investment in stocks and bonds, could lead to financial problems for the US economy.
Now here's something to think about. Americans love to spend money on foreign-made products. A show I watched last week said WalMart is increasing its demand for Chinese-made products, I think to the tune of 80%. That trade imbalance comes back in the form of investments in US securities and in the stock and bond markets, not in the form of purchases of American made goods. According to Greenspan, this is weakening the value of the dollar overseas. This in turn is threatening the appetite of foreigners to invest in America. If investors lose their appetite, that could significantly reduce the value of US bonds, driving interest rates on the US debt potentially through the roof.
Considering that the whole stock market is based on perceived demand and availability of capital, this decline in appetite could also undermine the stock market in a major way, if it should some day happen.
Is it any wonder Bush is giving tax breaks to the rich so they can invest their wealth overseas?
Is it any wonder Americans are embracing the principles of empire now, principles of a strong and overbearing military?
Is it any wonder we have jeopardized our freedom, sacrificed our trusted image around the world, compromised our values and principles, and prostituted our military and our representative government to the wealthy?
All because we love shopping at WalMart...

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