What nobody in the corporate media is mentioning amid all the blather about the $700-billion Paulson bailout proposal is the impact it will have on the US dollar.
We are told that this huge gift to the financial sector—the assumption, at top dollar, of all the bad debt they’ve piled up--will be at taxpayer expense, but that’s only the half of it. (Really only the quarter of it because since the US government is technically bankrupt already, spending more than it takes in each year, all that money will be borrowed, and will be added to the national debt, meaning that just as the real cost of the $500-billion Iraq War is closer to $2 trillion, the real cost of the $700 billion bailout will be more like $1.5-2.5 trillion.)
But besides the direct bill handed to taxpayers for this gigantic con, there is the fact that adding that much to the national debt is also going to drive the dollar down precipitously against foreign currencies. We’re already seeing that happen, even while they’re just talking about the bailout. The dollar is falling against all major currencies—the Euro, the Yen, the Renminbi and the British pound. And it will continue to fall as the details of the bailout come out.
This will add to already powerful pressures in countries like Saudi Arabia and China, which hold huge quantities of US dollars and US dollar-denominated debt, to shift out of dollars and into other currencies—particularly the Euro and the Yen. Last week, an article in China’s People’s Daily, which like Pravda in the old Soviet Union, is the official voice of the leadership in China, called for just such a move. Russia is also calling for an end to the dollar as the underpinning of the global economy.
For some years now, many economists have been predicting an end to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, but this latest plan by the US Treasury will push such a shift forward from “some day” to “now.”