Deconstructing a Dollar Decline

Low interest rates could have mixed effects

The market's wiring is all mixed up. For starters, the downgrade of the U.S.'s AAA credit rating didn't have its expected effect. Instead of fleeing U.S. bonds out of fear of America's doom, nervous investors poured into them as a safe haven. Then the Federal Reserve's promise to keep interest rates cheap until mid-2013--a move meant to coax consumers and businesses to lend and spend--failed to juice markets. The result? Royally confused investors. The volatile stock market is now a tug-of-war between those who think global growth will tank and those who see stocks as a bargain. One camp is betting...