Tuesday, Jan 6th, 2009
A former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has predicted a massive collapse of the dollar within the next two to five years, warning that a government increase in spending under President elect Obama could be disastrous.
Willem Buiter, who served the BOE from June 1997 to May 2000, has stated that he expects to see the plug pulled from under the dollar as foreign investors turn away from the dollar and other US backed assets including government bonds.
Writing for the Financial Times, Buiter, now a Professor with the London School of Economics European Institute, comments: "There will, before long (my best guess is between two and five years from now) be a global dumping of US dollar assets, including US government assets. Old habits die hard. The US dollar and US Treasury bills and bonds are still viewed as a safe haven by many. But learning takes place."
Buiter, who has previously advised the World Bank, the IMF and the European Commission, points out that the dollar has managed to stay afloat due to the misguided notion that the US can make more capital on overseas investments and interests than foreign investors can make on US assets - a hypothesis that economists have referred to as "American alpha".