The Fed is Exporting Global Inflation - Part II

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In part one of this series, Our Currency The World's Problem, I discussed the vital role the U.S. dollar plays in the global economy. With an understanding of the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, it's time to discuss how the Federal Reserve's monetary policy machinations influence the dollar and, therefore, the global economy and financial markets.

Given the Fed's recent extreme monetary policy actions, the likes of which haven't been seen in over 40 years, it is critical to appreciate the global consequences of the Fed's stern fight against inflation.

Triffin's paradox

In part 1, I highlighted the following two lines, which help describe Triffin's paradox.

To supply the world with dollars, the United States must consistently run a trade deficit. Running persistent deficits, the United States would become a debtor nation.

Simply the growing divergence between debt and the ability to pay for it, GDP, is unsustainable.

Increasingly, borrowing without the means to pay it off is unsustainable. The terms “zombie company” or “Ponzi scheme” come to mind when considering such a system. That said, because the printer of the currency and taxer of its citizens is in charge, we can only ask how long the status quo can continue.

The answer is partially up to the Fed. The Fed can use QE and low-interest rates to delay the inevitable. As we now see, the problem is that those tools are detrimental when there is high inflation. Fighting inflation requires higher interest rates and QT, both of which are problematic for high debt levels.