Monday, November 19, 2007

A buying frenzy

Well, it was inevitable, wasn't it?

Now that the dollar is sinking fast--it hurt when I was in the UK two months ago and the exchange rate then was 2 dollars to the pound, but now its 2 dollars ten cents--there are plane loads of Brits, Irish, Germans, French, Italians, etc. arriving at JFK and Newark to buy us out of our increasingly probable recession . They're coming armed to the teeth--with Euros and empty suitcases, of course. And they're not heading for the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.

Apparently they're heading for some obscure town up state where there's a huge complex of outlet stores--DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, etc... One guy from Dublin was interviewed on the telly this morning, gleefully telling us that he can buy 5 polo shirts here for the price of one in Ireland. And the stores are accommodating them cheerfully, offering them discounts for every $100 they spend, because Americans have their wallets tightly closed this season. The chains here are stating they're going to have a miserable Christmas season.

I wonder how long it's going to take the European Community to realize they should be collecting taxes on all this booty that's a comin' westward.

Now we hear China's considering dumping some of its huge dollar reserves, though we did also learn last week that the size of their burgeoning economy has been grossly overstated and the US will remain dominant for many, many years to come.

There's even talk that the Euro might become the world currency.

The only good side for us is that American exports are up and our deficit is shrinking. I am a bit cynical here because, given the trend in America for the past ten years according to the Gospel of Lou Dobbs to send all our manufacturing overseas, I'm wondering what American products we have left to sell. And it's not just physical goods I'm talking about either, because people from India call at night trying to get me to take out a mortgage, swap my phone service or try a new credit card.

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