QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Do you believe that if American companies do repatriate dollars to get the low tax rate in the USA, will this impact foreign banks as capital withdraws? I figured you are the best qualified to answer that question nobody seems to be discussing.
Thank you for sharing your expertise.
ANSWER: That is a very interesting question and it is indeed unique. I cannot think of anyone who has asked that one yet. Let us assume that U.S. corporations will repatriate at least 25% of their estimated US$2.6 trillion of offshore funds to take advantage of a one-off 14% tax holiday. It will not matter if they are selling euros, yen, pounds, or yuan. Switching their funds from the offshore dollar funding markets to domestic dollars will have a similar impact on the same trend that took place between 1980 and 1985 that drove the dollar to all-time record highs.
American corporations moving capital sends a powerful impulse through global finance system. Despite the rise of China and the creation of the euro, the world has never been so “dollarized” as it is today. The euro is a complete failure for there is no single market with a centralize debt to compete with the dollar as an alternative. China is rising, but it is not ready for prime time. There is no alternative to the dollar. That is the real crisis in the world economy.
U.S. lending rates are critical to the world economy. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says offshore dollar funding has risen fivefold to US$10.7 trillion since the early 2000s, with a further US$14 trillion of global dollar debt hidden in derivatives. BIS research also confirms that the rise and fall of the dollar is the major cycle of dollar liquidity which is driving the world’s investment appetite and global asset prices. This liquidity spigot is clearly being turned off. The Fed is not only raising rates, it is also reversing bond purchases exactly OPPOSITE of the ECB which openly admits it will repurchase government debt as it expires because they know there are no buyers at these rates. The Fed is shrinking its balance sheet while the ECB is trapped and cannot dare take the same steps.
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