Don't burn the humbled greenback yet

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. These are the best of times for the world's America bashers. Short-selling the United States is not only good sport for those who love to hate the powerful - now it's fabulously profitable, too.

    A small but increasingly loud group believes it's time to start quoting oil prices in euros instead of U.S. dollars. Iran's radical President declares greenbacks to be "worthless pieces of paper" with "no economic value." That doesn't say much for the Iranian rial, which is one of just two dozen or so currencies to have depreciated against the buck this year. But never mind: You'd have to conclude that most of the financial world agrees that the U.S. dollar, while far from worthless, sure ain't what it used to be.

    Some are making their careers by being bearish on America. Nandu Narayanan, a U.S. hedge fund manager we first told you about in July, is one of them. He placed massive bets that the real estate problem would morph into a widespread financial crisis, short-selling mortgage insurers, lenders and anything else that touched the U.S. credit bubble. He's going to be dining out on that call for a long time: His fund had gained 111 per cent through October. (Investors who bought the Canadian-dollar version are still up 70 per cent.)

    Mr. Narayanan's view is that it's not over. "Now we're probably in the fourth, maybe the fifth inning," he says. "People who don't think there's going to be a recession are living a pipe dream here." For a lot of foreign investors, of course, it feels as if that recession is already here. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 53 per cent in five years - unless you happen to be sitting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in which case you've lost 15 per cent of your money (and that's counting dividends).