No matter how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tries to finesse it, the decision to buy $600 billion in Treasurys, which essentially means printing more money, makes the United States look hypocritical.
Bernanke and President Obama continue to be strongly critical of China for manipulating its currency, preaching that nations ought to let their currencies reflect the strength of their economies. (Read it here.)
But of course one of the consequences of printing more dollars (or “quantitative easing” as it is called) is that the dollar will be weakened, making it cheaper for the nation to borrow.
Bernanke has a host of other reasons for what the Fed is doing, including helping the economy and the banking system. (Read this good piece on how to try making sense of it all.)
As the author of that piece puts it, there is no secret to why nations in economic trouble print more money. The trick is to try to find the right balance between how Japan did it in 1990s, to no effect, and how the Weimar Republic did it in Germany in the 1920s, leading to hyperinflation.
In the meantime, continuing to bash China over currency manipulation makes this nation’s leaders look foolish.