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Dollar Inflation

Robert Kurz 


Silently and unceasingly the deficit of the commercial balance and US capital grows and it has already reached an astronomical dimension. Meanwhile, people have already gotten used to it. Everybody invests in the USA his excess capital that, because of the global capacities, cannot be reinvested in a profitable way, and buys there actions and titles of the public debt. With these unprecedented debts, the USA buys abroad the excess goods of the world, for which there are no buyers due to the lack of purchasing power derived of the rationalization, the unemployment and the mass poverty. In this way the already mature world economic crisis is attenuated and postponed continually. It almost it gives the impression that the global capitalism has found the economic perpetuum mobile due to the absorption capacity of the last superpower.  


According to the manuals, the one-way export tracks of the USA are totally impossible. A national economy is not able in the long run to import a lot more than what it exports. If the USA doesn't establish themselves again the balance through the increasing of the exports toward Asia and Europe, etc. sooner or later this immense imbalance will take to a strong economic contraction. The American economist Paul Krugman has being affirming for years that the manuals forget that in fact the states don't compete among themselves as if they were companies. Under the conditions of the globalisation it would be ingenuous to continue thinking that the calculation of the national economy success is its commercial balance. Import and export, according to Krugman, are carried out now indeed in the level of the managerial economy. That is why the US companies have transferred to China a great part of their production capacity, due to the low wages and other costs factors, and that already works as turntable in their nets of global production. Which seems an export from China to the USA is in fact a supply to US clients through US industrial groupings. For it, Krugman says pleased that it doesn't happen anything if, for example, in the USA already no portable computer is produced. 


Unfortunately the US economist makes a beginner's error in her optimistic reasoning. It is true that he is right concerning to the material flow of goods; the import from China is a US internal matter in a certain way. The capital is only interested by the material production of goods because it is the only road that serves for the accumulation of monetary capital. The money, that is the goal of all this, cannot be globalised as neither can be the states. Actually there is no world money as actually there is no world state. Above all the money only exists in the form of value currency, that is to say as national currencies. This is also valid for the dollar that in spite of being the auxiliary world currency, it continuous to be at the same time national currency. In the field of the monetary relationship, the astronomical deficit of the commercial balance and US capital is reflected in a negative manner in the registrations. Even if they are materially internal economic-managerial movements of US managerial groups, in a monetary field the right of a monetary territory is still obove another.


What can happen in this field in an unavoidable way? Let us make a small thought experiment and imagine the supposed economic perpetuum mobile between the USA and the rest of the world applied to a national economy. The non-existent purchase power that doesn't exist it is really simulated through the indebtedness. If there are not considerable savings (as it is the case of the USA) it only exists a possibility, that the state, through its national bank, would emit money without reflection and distribute it among the people, so that this people could buy. As it is known, the result is not an “eternal juncture” as perpetuum mobile, but the galloping inflation, the ruin of the money and an even more serious crisis with it. 


First of all the continuous flow of the monetary foreign capital in the USA will have the same result. The money that enters in foreign currency has to be changed in dollars for the purchase of shares and holding of the public debt, increasing the quantity of dollars permanently. This doesn't appear at the beginning as inflation in the USA, because it is money from the foreign creditors in Asia or in Europe. The inflationary mechanism that could be detected much more quickly in the context of a national economy, is filtered in this case by the territorial limits of the currencies. But let us return to the manuals: a permanent deficit of the balance of trade and capital in a national economy, that is to say a monetary territory, if it is not balanced, leads unavoidably, after a certain time of incubation, to the fall of the external value of the currency in question. The internal purchase power of a currency cannot be independent of its external value. If the fall of the external value is strong, the consequence would also be a dramatic inflation of the national economy of the country in question. This fact has been demonstrated repeatedly.  


It cannot be seen how could it is possible for the USA to escape from these laws in the long term. It is a fact that ever so often, like it is now the case, they admit consciously a certain loss of the dollar’s external value, because in this way the foreign creditors pay partly, also and spite of them, the US debts for the devaluation of their assets in dollars. Obviously this is only possible while it is a relative moderate and controlled oscillation of the dollar value. However the more the external US deficit is accumulated the most probable will be the interruption of the monetary capital flow and the uncontrollable fall of the dollar’s external value.  

Then the unavoidable dollar inflation will not only  kneel the US internal economy but it also will paralyse the exports machine of the entire world. Then the magnificence of the supposed perpetuum mobile will have finished. The miracles only exist in the stories. 


German original: Dollarinflation

Published originally in Neues Deutschland, Berlin, 21.11.2003 

Translation into Portuguese by Nikola Grabski / 

Translation from German into Spanish: Marina Fahmüller

Translation into English: Contracorriente