April 21, 2015 -
Has The US Dollar Topped Out, Or Headed Much Higher?
The US dollar’s value has been on a tear since last summer, with the greenback’s value surging more than 20% against a basket of major foreign currencies. Reasons for the dollar’s sudden strong advance vary widely, but include the following among others:
- The US economy is faring better than most other developed economies, and foreign investors have to buy dollars in order to participate.
- The Fed is expected to raise short-term interest rates this year, and higher rates historically lead to a stronger currency.
- US stocks and bonds have been the leaders in market returns in recent years, and foreign investors continue to flock to them, creating more demand for dollars.
- Global tensions and concerns are rising in many parts of the world, and foreign investors are seeking a safe-haven in which to park their money.
- Basically, the US is the least worst of a bad lot when it comes to where international investors want to stash their money.
For these reasons and others, international capital has been flowing into the US at a near-record rate since last summer. This has definitely boosted the value of the US dollar since last July and may continue to do so. But questions remain.
The first question is whether the strong rise in the US dollar will continue? There are some compelling arguments that it will, as I will discuss below. Yet in March of this year, the US dollar turned lower. So the next question is, whether the recent downturn in the US dollar is a real change of trend? I’ll offer an opinion as we go along.
Following that discussion, we will delve into the latest data on who pays income taxes and who doesn’t. The numbers may surprise you. Despite the fact that the top 20% of income earners pay almost 84% of all income taxes, the Democrats want to raise income taxes on high income earners and corporations. What else is new?