Final Word from Tuesday, December 31, 2002





With its close trade ties to Germany and Austria, the CR is more interested in the euro's movement than the dollar's, but this could change somewhat in 2003. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted yesterday that the perennial predictions of an overvalued dollar are coming true. Investors fear war in Iraq and are keeping their money at home. This is bad news for the U.S., which needs to borrow $1.4bn per day from abroad to finance its trade deficit. It's not clear how much longer investors will let the U.S. be the policeman of the world on borrowed money, but the FAZ said the dollar has much farther to fall. It's only a matter of time, the paper added, before German exporters start complaining about an overly strong euro. A weak dollar ultimately affects Czechs too: Export troubles in Germany could soften that country's appetite for Czech imports.

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