As President Trump and Japan's Shinzo Abe begin their weekend of golf, the topic of currency manipulation will likely be top of mind. However, for Citigroup's "gold expert" Willem Buiter, all of Trump's FX chatter is "hogwash" and "hot air."
Speaking during a Bloomberg TV interview, Citi's Chief Economist sees the dollar rising this year even as the president talks the greenback down and blasts some of the nation’s biggest trading partners for currency manipulation.
“This is all basically hogwash,” Buiter said in an interview on Bloomberg Television, referring to Trump’s criticism of China and Japan on their exchange rates. “All this currency-manipulator talk is, I think, basically hot air.”
In recent weeks, Trump and administration officials have complained that the dollar is too strong, while accusing major trading partners — China, Japan and Germany — of weakening their currencies to gain trading advantages. That’s muddied the outlook for the greenback, which fell the past six weeks and has given back more than half of its gains since the developer and reality-TV star’s November election victory.
"No matter how hard the Trump administration rattles the cage in an attempt to talk the dollar down, if the markets anticipate significant future stimulus in the U.S. and further tightening by the Fed, then whatever short-term wobbles there may be in the U.S. dollar, the dollar will only go one way relative to most other currencies," Buiter said. “And that’s up.”
Buiter further believes that The Fed is likely to hike only two times this year…
Trump “probably would do well to look at basic economics of exchange rates,” Buiter said.
“You cannot have anticipated fiscal expansion and anticipated monetary tightening while the rest of the world, by and large, is in a monetary loosening mode still and expect your currency to weaken."