History could be set to repeat itself as excessive growth has left the U.S. dollar poised for a collapse in as little as a year, the co-founder of London-based advisory group Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) has told CNBC.
David Marsh, a financial specialist that advises asset management firms, is predicting a dollar crash akin to that seen in the 1980s, as the world’s reserve currency continues to rally off the back of the new U.S. administration following continued gains seen over recent years.
The dollar has been going up by approximately 10 percent per year in real terms over the last three to four years, Marsh explained, adding that it was “doing exactly the opposite of what (President Donald) Trump says he wants.”
“I foresee it will carry on getting stronger for a year or so and then we will have a dollar collapse, just like we did in the early 1980s,” he claimed.
“All the things that Mr. Trump says he wants to do – protect American workers in the heartland – are not going to be helped by this.”
One of President Trump’s core campaign policies centred on re-establishing America’s manufacturing base, an industry which is hugely impacted by currency fluctuations. However, the U.S. dollar has continued to rise since his election win in November, prompting critics to accuse the president’s policies of being supportive of a higher dollar.
Last week, the dollar slipped from its 14-year highs of 103.82 to 99.23. Marsh is predicting the dollar will regain ground in the near-term, which in turn will do “real harm” to those President Trump said he would help, before later experiencing a downturn.
Attempts at a new Plaza Accord – the agreement made among G-5 nations to realign world currencies – could be made to control this, suggested Marsh. However, this “seems a long way away” and in the short term is likely to see Trump “lashing out more and more”, Marsh added.
“Somebody else will be blamed for this: It obviously won’t be America’s fault, it’ll be somebody else. It may one day be China, next it will be Japan, Germany comes into line. You have the feeling there’s a sort of roulette wheel on Mr. Trump’s bedside table which he swings round every night … And he hones in on them and then the next moment he’s off somewhere else.”
Marsh’s views stand in contrast with more dovish analysts, including Patrick Bennett, a foreign exchange strategist at CIBC, who told CNBC last week that the U.S. economy could withstand a rising dollar.
– CNBC’s Leslie Shaffer contributed to this report