The dollar hit an all time low against the euro again today, trading at $1.44 and heading further south. This would be dry news for most, except that it ties in with Iran's President Ahmadinejad's visit to New York this week. That was some ugly business at Columbia University yesterday. I believed that Columbia showed courage and honored freedom of speech by allowing Ahmadinejad a forum, but it was anything but courageous for the University's president to sucker punch him like a bitch. Ahmadinejad sat and took it like Edwin Booth returning to the stage after his brother killed President Lincoln, and Columbia's Bollinger succeeded in actually making him look sympathetic. Had he left it to the students, it would have been an informative enough exchange since they asked scalding questions. The student response to the statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran was with derisive laughter and ridicule. That is what effectively defangs a clever liar, but I haven't seen such grandstanding by a university president since S.I. Hayakawa at San Francisco State in 1968.
Ahmadinejad's entire anti-Israel, holocaust denial, Palestinian propaganda carnival is strictly for Middle Eastern consumption, since I have learned from Iranian exiles that Persians are quick to point out that they are not Arabs. Neither am I moved by his semi-admission of the holocaust before a New York audience. He knows that all holocaust deniers are about to get a Third Reich Smackdown in the soon to be opened trove of documents that have been sitting in the German town of Bad Arolsen since 1945. Just because the Nazis attempted to disguise their genocide against the Jews while it was happening, doesn't mean they weren't proud of it. They kept meticulous records of every soul they sent to a death camp, and it has taken 60 years to unseal these files. Millions of records will soon be available to the public, and the answers may yet tell a worse story than previously thought.
No one today, and no one tomorrow, will ask Ahmadinejad the important questions about the IOB, or the Iranian Oil Bourse. The Bourse, or exchange, began last year and is the third such exchange for oil, futures, petroleum products, and all other financial instruments, joining those in London and New York. The IOB is the first located in the Middle East and the first to trade exclusively in euros. You know the term "petrodollars?" If that changes to petro-euros and other oil consuming countries like Russia and India go along, we're in for a wild ride. In his book, "Reefer Madness," describing the U.S. underground economy, Eric Schlosser already maintains that the one hundred dollar bill, once the staple of smugglers the world over, has been abandoned for the euro by money launderers and all manner of dealers in contraband, not just for the value, but because the euro comes in notes of 500. When the euro was launched, it was ridiculed in some quarters of this country. Don't be surprised to reach in your pocket one of these days for an Amero.
In this insane economy where President Chuckles thinks we can have guns and butter, if the perception of the almighty dollar collapses, so does our economy. Our trade deficits are obscene because we all want cheap stuff, yet there is no market for our consumer goods; not in autos, software, or even underwear. We do, however, lead the world in the gross output of porno. We are a debtor nation, $200 billion in hock to China alone, who buys our debt in Treasury Bills and transfers a large percentage to euros. Russia has followed suit in transferring their dollar reserves, and the country of Dubai, of the infamous Dubai Ports World debacle, has found their convergence of dollar reserves to the euro to be so profitable, they are poised to purchase the NASDAQ stock exchange; wholesale. The kings of the no-bid contract, Halliburton, home of the Cheney School of Business Ethics, have just moved their entire operation to Dubai. So much for that good corporate citizen nonsense.
This collapsing dollar is great for Europeans and other non-Americans using the euro, including Canadians, who are crossing borders for terrific bargains. Not only are all of our consumer goods on sale for half price, so is our land, our institutions, our landmarks, and our way of life. If there is a crisis in our currency, it could show the Bush economic policy as the Darwinian/Milton Friedman, free market, free-for-all, grab bag that it has always been, and then the tent poles could come down. What makes this scary story even more frightening is that if President Chuckles has populated the Departments of Commerce and the Treasury with his conservative cronies like he did in the Justice Department, you could wake up in a few years in a third world country, and still be in your own bed. The Hurricane Katrina of finance could hit and the first responders will blame it on gay marriage. Someone needs to ask President Ahmadinejad if his intention was to declare economic war on the United States by accepting oil payments only in euros and further weakening the dollar? His views on the holocaust may make him look like a fool, but his views on oil and the euro make him look like a fox.