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Adam Marsh

I think your message is spot on about currency issues being sometimes used as an excuse to avoid the reality of a significant new competitive force in the world market. However, I can't see this as a reason not to want to rectify an exchange rate that is artificially skewed. I agree that trying to "protect" US companies from competition would be misguided, but seeking a level playing field is not. Wake-up calls shouldn't be delivered with a ball peen hammer.

I also agree that viewing currency manipulation as simply generating an "unnatural competitive advantage" due to low wages is dangerous, but I'd argue that the other results, some of which you briefly mention, are equally important and should be highlighted. For example, if currency issues are contributing to artificially low interest rates that fund the US government deficit and housing boom, they are also leading to high levels of foreign debt and foreign ownership in the US. History shows that artificially unbalanced economic systems eventually regain equilibrium, often in a violent manner.

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