So I was riding the train to work today, reading the Wall Street Journal on an Amazon Kindle I'm reviewing -- watch for that review soon -- and something caught my eye.
It wasn't the headline, "TransCanada Pipeline Moves On After Delay by Rival Enbridge," which is one of those WSJ-only headlines, so dull that it puts people around me to sleep. It was the lede:
TransCanada Corp. is pushing ahead with the second phase of its seven billion Canadian-dollar (US$6.98 billion) Keystone oil pipeline linking Alberta to the U.S. Gulf coast, a week after Enbridge Inc. was forced to delay plans for a rival project.
I know that because it's a foreign currency, you've got to put the valuation in there in U.S. dollars, but it just looks petty, doesn't it?
"Hey, Canada! You thought that pipeline was worth seven billion dollars? Ha! Yeah, where we're from, that's a $6.98 billion pipeline!" And then I'd smugly shine an apple on my lapel and take a big old bite out of it, before realizing that food costs have gone up and I'd better chew slowly.
It's eye-catching because I'm used to picking up books or magazines and having a dollar or two difference between the prices, or seeing a wider margin in news stories like this one. Sure, that's no real economic measure, but the point is, in the middle of this whole lending crisis/credit crisis/banking crisis, the American dollar is slumping down in its seat, as if hoping not to be noticed.
Just my two cents (which are worth less than I thought).
But don't take my word for it. Check out some Huffington Post business blogs:
Vince Farrell posted one called "Bernanke Threw The Dollar Under The Bus:"
In trying to achieve market stability, he, and Secretary Paulson, only rattled the cage. I believe the market sold off on the belief that if we aren't going to defend our currency, why would anyone bother to buy financial assets denominated in that currency.
Kevin Phillips writes, in his post, "Lies, Damn Lies and Government Inflation Statistics," that inflation may be much worse than even today's stats show, by way of creative bookkeeping:
And there is a worse possibility -- that the changed Consumer Price Index measurements in place since the 1990s have significantly underestimated inflation, and the true damage has already been much deeper. Why would Washington allow this, you might ask. The answer: that because a large chunk of the federal budget rises with inflation, the savings from understating it are enormous, however unfair to retirees and workers.