Yet another record for gold prices today topping $1,308 an ounce. Meanwhile the US dollar continued its recent slide against major currencies, going above $1.35 against the euro.
Back when the euro zone was dealing with the Greek crisis and the risks of contagion, the dollar was able to mount a shot-lived challenge. But as it appears that the Europe's problems are largely behind it, the currency shift has resumed its movement away from the dollar and to safer havens such as gold and foreign currencies.
Right now there isn't much that can be done to stem the bleeding. The market seems to have a sour mood towards the US economy and that is beating down the price of the dollar. Theoretically the dollar may see some upside action if the conservatives can wrest some control away from the democrats who are seen as wanton spenders.
But that may just provide temporary relief. The US economy and the dollar weren't exactly healthy during the Bush era. In fact the deficit had continued to grow and the sub-prime debacle and the ensuing rescue programs took place during the previous administration.
The point is that, rhetoric aside, there isn't much either party can or will do about the soaring deficit and the economic slowdown unless and until tough measures are taken, and no party is brave enough to do it. they either have to cut spending or raise taxes or do both and in all cases it amounts to political suicide.
What the US may need in the end is an independent decision-making body operating separately from the government that can make these tough decision without the fear of personal backlash and retribution. Something akin to the Federal Reserve, only more independent and completely apolitical and, if need be, somewhat anonymous.Robert Hashemian is VP of Web Development for TMCnet.com with a keen interest in financial markets. To read more of Robert’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also maintains his personal Web site at www.hashemian.com.