Will the Chinese keep on propping up the dollar?

Niall Ferguson says probably yes:

Even the gloomiest pessimists accept that a steep dollar depreciation would inflict more suffering on China and other Asian economies than on the United States. John Snow’s predecessor in the Nixon administration once told his European counterparts that “the dollar is our currency, but your problem.” Snow could say the same to Asians today. If the dollar fell by a third against the renminbi, according to Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University, the People’s Bank of China could suffer a capital loss equivalent to 10 percent of China’s gross domestic product. For that reason alone, the PBOC has every reason to carry on printing renminbi in order to buy dollars.

Although neither side wants to admit it, today’s Sino-American economic relationship has an imperial character. Empires, remember, traditionally collect “tributes” from subject peoples. That is how their costs–in terms of blood and treasure–can best be justified to the populace back in the imperial capital. Today’s “tribute” is effectively paid to the American empire by China and other East Asian economies in the form of underpriced exports and low-interest, high-risk loans.

Read the whole thing.  For the pointer I thank the now-once-again-as- good-as-ever (we need him — the guy has no right to actually finish his dissertation, does he?) www.politicaltheory.info.