Exports and exchange rates have emerged as two of the most important macroeconomic topics for practitioners and students to understand. The reasons are explained in this book. First, exports are the best remaining channel for advanced economies to grow. Consumption, investment and government spending are not expected to increase in advanced economies in the foreseeable future. Couple this with exchange rates that convert international sales into U.S. dollars for shareholder reporting and the mix can be volatile. International sales targets can be missed if units sold are down or exchange rates are higher than expected.
As shown in this book, some economies such as Germany and China have trade surpluses, since the value of their exports exceeds the value of the goods and services they import. Others such as the U.S. have large trade deficits. Economists have studied trade for centuries, and theories such as mercantilism have given way to absolute- and comparative-advantage views that explain the reasons for countries to trade. Consumer passions for lower prices have taken the U.S. from a trade surplus nation to a trade deficit nation. And there is no change expected in the future.
Exports and imports, along with the flows of securities across economies, are shown to have a direct connection to currency exchange rates. Among the macroeconomic measures tracked in this book series, exchange rates are found to be the quickest to change and the most likely to cripple an economy. Exchange rates collapses such as those that occurred in Argentina, Mexico, Thailand, and Cyprus are shown to have a common cause. The lessons learned from these cases are explored and disturbing questions are posed for the U.S. economy and its currency.
On the other end of the economic spectrum, another export and exchange-rate event of major significance is unfolding in China. The Chinese are expected to decrease exports and get IMF acceptance for their currency regime. Taking the views from China, the EU, and the U.S. together we are reminded that for every downside event there is an equal and important upside export-and-exchange-rate event happening in the global economy. This book challenges students to explore alternative export and exchange rate conditions and assess their benefits to businesses.
About the Author
Dr. Atwater has been teaching macroeconomics at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California since 1995. He has also given numerous macroeconomic seminars to corporations, faculty and practitioners including Nestlé USA, the Billion Dollar Club, the Academy of Economics and Finance, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the World Demographics Conference on Ageing. Dr. Atwater won the 2010 George Award for Outstanding Faculty Member. The business experiences he brings to the classroom include serving as chief executive for a Southern California technology company, the chief financial officer of an international, value-added software company, a principal in the human resources and compensation practice at William H. Mercer, and a director and cofounder of several start-up companies.
He has created decision-support technologies and implemented them in a number of Fortune 100 companies, including AT&T, Intel, Dell Computer, Apple Computer, BHP Minerals, IBM, Bank of America, Nestlé, and Nestlé USA.
Dr. Atwater earned his AB degree in mathematics, his MA degree in mathematical economics, and his C Phil and PhD degrees in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Donald M. Atwater
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