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Wall Street Journal (via Slate)

The dollar fell against most major currencies and is at the same level as it was before it became a safe haven for investors who became jittery after Lehman Bros. collapsed. The dollar is "falling victim to a kind of double whammy" that was the result of the government's efforts to pump more dollars into the economy. Investors seem to be convinced that the efforts had the desired effect and the global economy will soon get out of recession, so they're willing to take on more risk. When combined with the high supply of dollars and low interest rates, that has made the dollar quite unattractive. Instead of dollar-based securities, investors are snapping up gold and other commodities.

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Although a number of countries, including China and Russia, have suggested replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency, the UNCTAD report is the first time a major multinational institution has posited such a suggestion.

In essence, the report calls for a new Bretton Woods-style system of managed international exchange rates, meaning central banks would be forced to intervene and either support or push down their currencies depending on how the rest of the world economy is behaving.

The proposals would also imply that surplus nations such as China and Germany should stimulate their economies further in order to cut their own imbalances, rather than, as in the present system, deficit nations such as the UK and US having to take the main burden of readjustment.


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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard via

Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China's green energy drive, said Beijing was dismayed by the Fed's recourse to "credit easing".

"We hope there will be a change in monetary policy as soon as they have positive growth again," he said at the Ambrosetti Workshop, a policy gathering on Lake Como.

"If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and after a year or two the dollar will fall hard. Most of our foreign reserves are in US bonds and this is very difficult to change, so we will diversify incremental reserves into euros, yen, and other currencies," he said.

China's reserves are more than – $2 trillion, the world's largest.


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Warren Buffett lost about $25 billion during the financial crisis, but he still managed to make the most out of the situation by attempting to profit from the downturn. His picks could reap huge rewards, but right now, Berkshire Hathaway appears to be taking a more cautious approach, buying fewer stocks than it is selling, suggesting that Buffett is getting worried. At the same time, "Buffettologists" say that as his inevitable retirement approaches Buffett is also thinking about his legacy and is more concerned about making investments that will give out profits in the long-term.

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Capitalism is evil. That is the conclusion U.S. documentary maker Michael Moore comes to in his latest movie "Capitalism: A Love Story."

Blending his trademark humor with tragic individual stories, archive footage and publicity stunts, the 55-year-old launches an all out attack on the capitalist system, arguing that it benefits the rich and condemns millions to poverty.

"Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil," the two-hour movie concludes. [Actually you can't regulate capitalism, or it isn't capitalism.]

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