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The U.S. dollar is a refuge at times of uncertainty – and in these uncertain times, the dollar is at its strongest point since the mid-1980s. This presents problems. Commodities like oil and wheat, which are priced in dollars, become more expensive in terms of euros, yen, or pesos, fueling inflation, and reducing people’s purchasing power. Additionally, dollar-denominated debt of emerging market and developing countries becomes harder to repay as the dollar strengthens.

In the face of these challenges, what would be appropriate policy responses by countries whose currencies are weakening? And by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury? Professor Maurice Obstfeld, widely recognized as a preeminent expert on the world economy, addresses these questions, and others, in this EconoFact Chats episode.

Maury is a Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He served as the Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2015 to 2018. Prior to that, he served as a Member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

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