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Missive #281

An investigation of the back-and-forth between advocates of a strong dollar and those of a weak one.

The U.S. dollar has long been weaponized, writes financial journalist Mohsin, most lately by the Biden administration using dollar-based sanctions against Iran and Russia. The result is precarious: “The dollar is no longer there for the greater good but for those who align with America.” In 2001, some 73% of central bank foreign exchange funds were held in dollars, but that figure is now below 60%. Part of the problem is that administrations, apart from using the dollar as a weapon, have also not been able to decide whether the dollar should be strong or weak: Trump, for instance, initially held out for a weak dollar to increase the desirability of American goods abroad, but when foreign investors went fleeing, he changed his mind and bellowed demands for a strong dollar.This book has some good historical information but I knew most of it without reading the book. If you have been paying attention to what has been going on for any length of time this book is probably not for you. Fortunately, he had a competent, if too compliant, treasury secretary in Steven Mnuchin, and the logic that “if the government was invested in keeping its currency strong, investors would have more reason to feel confident in bonds issued by the United States” held. However, if investors do flee, where will they go? There have been fears that the dollar will no longer be the world’s chief currency, fears that have a basis in reality, but the leading competitors have even greater problems: The euro represents too small a market; the yuan, a state that few trust. Though knowing something about fiscal policy will help readers, Mohsin is a capable interpreter of the interaction between finance and politics. It’s a messy business: Every time Congress dithers about the debt limit, foreigners begin to doubt the soundness of the dollar, which could turn out to have disastrous consequences.

An engaging outing for financial policy wonks that should also serve as a warning to economic policymakers. — Kirkus Reviews

John Michael Greer has a series of posts that deal with Lenocracy. The quote will define the term and the links will take you to the posts. The series is worth reading.

I’ve recently had another such verbal seed crystal drop into my mind. This one wasn’t anything like as worldshaking as the concept of decline has turned out to be, and it also had a curious feature; I grasped the concept in an instant but I had to invent a word for it. The word I came up with is “lenocracy.” The first part of that word comes from leno, the Latin term for a pimp. Yes, what the word means is a government of pimps.

Beyond Lenocracy
The Secret Of The Sages
Lenocracy In Extremis The Case Of Publishing
Walking Away From The Marketplace

It has been a couple of weeks now since I got my temporary bridge and I’m still worrying it with my tongue. It has not been painful just bothersome. I have also now had all the charges appear on my credit card statement so I can give you the bad news – NOT. These charges include the extra that is added by the bank to do the currency conversion from MX pesos to $.

$85.97 for Cleaning, exam and xrays
$294.31 To extract five teeth
$315.77 The temporary bridge
Total Charges $696.05

To continue reporting on my health I’m doing well in my recovery from the psoriasis flash. Maybe still a bit slower pace on our walks but not by much. I was convinced that there was a correlation between the flashes and my heart rate and saw evidence of that during this last episode. With my new Polar watch, set for continuous heart rate monitoring, I get a reading for my ‘sleep heart rate’; that is the lowest reading while I’m asleep. Prior to the flash it was always in a rage of 39-43bpm. The night of the flash in was 48bpm. Unfortunately I get that information too late to do anything preventive. Now that I’m recovering I’v had a couple nights with readings of 38bpm and one at 37.

Also health related is an update of my walking progress. Go to Google Maps and enter 32.542602, -117.028420 in Search Google Maps click on Directions, enter 34.674373, -118.771381 in Choose Starting Point and press enter. The map will then show you how far I have walked and where I would have been if doing it for real versus a motivational device.

“Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.” ― Socrates

This is a plausible scenario but it is also quite likely that Kamala will experience some sort of timely accident if she were to fail to have a sudden health problem.

One way or another, they could jam Hillary into this psychodrama. Stay tuned for a couple of medical emergencies. First, Kamala Harris will resign on account of a sudden “health problem” that prevents her from attending to her duties. Cancer will be implied but not spelled out. “Joe Biden” will appoint HRC of the Purple Pantsuit as veep. Three weeks later, “JB” will submit his resignation for medical reasons, and nobody will need to ask why. Voila! The first woman president, she-whose-turn-has-finally-come, flies triumphantly out of the Democratic Convention in her hometown, Chicago, like Rodan the Flying Reptile emerging from the mythic volcano, cawing her battle-cry across the land. The Golden Golem answers with a roar. The great re-match is on! — Monster Mash Up

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