The Strong Dollar Bench Presses the Party Line

The greenback wilts as its bosses trumpet its muscularity. Just how strong should the buck be?

Jim Young / AP

President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson (left) insist on a strong dollar policy.

On those awkward occasions when he is asked about his nation's currency, President George W. Bush has a simple response. "We believe in a strong-dollar policy," he'll say--or words to that effect. For his Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, the mantra is, "A strong dollar is in our nation's interest."

The dollar hasn't been paying much attention, apparently. It has lost 41% of its value against the euro, its main global competitor, since Bush took office in 2001. And Paulson, when he's not busy battling financial crises here, can usually be found in China beseeching the authorities there to let their currency...

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