| WASHINGTON, April 21
WASHINGTON, April 21 Talk of a "strong dollar"
is about as American as apple pie. But have you noticed that
those precious words are hardly ever uttered by Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner?
Maybe that is because Geithner's boss, President Barack
Obama, doesn't actually want a strong dollar and is aiding and
abetting its depreciation. After all, a weak greenback is good
for manufacturing exports and therefore good for the recovery
and for jobs. Those long-elusive jobs could work wonders for
Of course, the powers that be won't be caught advocating
for a "weak dollar." That kind of talk would likely trigger an
accelerated decline in the currency and unbearable scorn for
Obama. Who wants to be known as the "weak dollar president" of
the United States? Not him.
So, let the facts speak for themselves. Corporate earnings
this week show the rapidly declining dollar is helping U.S.
companies sell drugs, chemicals and food to buyers in other
countries. As one investor told Reuters today: "Any U.S.
multinational corporation is going to benefit from a weaker
dollar, which frankly is what has jump-started the recovery."
Long live the weak dollar.
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Here are our top stories from Washington:
ANALYSIS-Has the US forgotten it has a strong dollar
For years, U.S. Treasury secretaries parroted a line that
America was committed to a strong dollar policy. But as the
greenback slides close to all-time lows, President Barack
Obama's administration has been noticeably quiet. A growing
number of investors and currency experts are thinking
Washington is passively accepting a gradual decline in the
currency, hoping it helps engineer a vigorous enough recovery
to get a battered economy in order. [ID:nN21297925]
Obama team to probe energy market manipulation
With gasoline pump prices soaring, the Obama administration
unveiled a working group of federal agencies to probe potential
fraud in the energy markets. The White House is worried that if
gas prices rise above $4 a gallon, the fallout could dominate
next year's presidential campaign and drown out President
Obama's message of economic recovery. [ID:nN21278883]
Republicans seek to reassure elderly on Medicare
Republicans pushing deep cuts to government spending are
seeking to reassure older Americans that their health insurance
will remain intact even if Medicare is privatized. Elderly
voters could be pivotal in the 2012 election, where both
Democrats and Republicans will be judged for proposed cuts to
the federal health insurance program to reduce deficits.
US economy struggles for momentum, reports show
Factory activity in Middle Atlantic states braked sharply in
April and the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits
fell less than expected, implying the economy was struggling to
regain momentum. Other data showed steep declines in home
prices in February, underscoring the challenges confronting the
economy, but the recovery is expected to remain on track. "The
economy certainly lost some steam through the first quarter,
(but) the underlying health remains sound," said Brian Levitt,
an economist for OppenheimerFunds. [ID:nN21185697]
Clinton: Libyan troops continue 'vicious attacks'
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said troops loyal to Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi have continued their "vicious attacks"
and may have used cluster bombs against civilians. Libyan
government troops overnight pounded the rebel-held city of
Misrata, where hundreds have died during the siege that began
with pro-democracy protests. [ID:nN21290800]
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