Skip to main content

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dear Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve: Please raise short-term interest rates.

Why? Because keeping them low isn't spurring inflation and, besides, it will help accomplish a much more important goal for the long-term economic strength of America: keeping the U.S. dollar strong. 

Over the past several months, I have argued for a strong United States dollar. Over that time, I've gotten my wish.

Last year on April 14, 2014 the value of the Euro in terms of the US dollar was €0.7237. Yesterday, April 13, 2015, the value of the Euro closed at €0.9458, a rise of almost 31%. Over the same period of time, the dollar is up 14% versus the British Pound and up 41% over the Brazilian Real. It's up against the Canadian dollar by nearly 16%. And the U.S. dollar index published in the Wall Street Journal is up by just under 25%. And, the Trade-Weighted U.S. Dollar Index against Major Currencies, published by the Federal Reserve System, shows that the value of the dollar rose by 22% year-over-year.

The dollar has become "strong." While investors, particularly those who hold companies that do a lot of business overseas, might not cheer this development, the economy will be better off in the long run if the dollar stays strong. 

Now, if the Federal Reserve wanted to maintain the high value of the U.S. dollar what would it have to do? 

TheStreet Recommends

Well, the Federal Reserve would have to convince investors that it would do what it could to move short-term interest rates and bank reserves in a way that would offset any international flow of funds that would cause the value of other currencies to rise relative to the dollar.

For fifty years, the United States followed a policy of credit inflation that first brought down the Bretton Woods international financial arrangements and then produced a decline in the value of the dollar against major currencies into the summer of 2011 of almost 38%.

During this time period, inflationary expectations became so strong in the United States that they changed the way investors allocated their money. Investors started putting money more and more into asset, which resulted in increases in asset prices and put less and less money into capital that helped to produce goods and services. Consumer prices rose only moderately.

These inflationary expectations are still currently present in financial markets and would have to be overcome in order for the Federal Reserve to keep the dollar strong.

Thus, the Fed would have to make market participants believe that it would not allow credit inflation to become excessive again so as build trust with investors that the Fed would not underwrite or support credit inflation to become a major issue again. In other words, the Fed would have to act in a way to destroy the inflationary expectations that still exist within the market.

This will be a hard thing to do because the commercial banking system in the United States has almost $2.8 trillion in excess reserves. Somehow, the Federal Reserve is going to have to act in a way to insure that investors believe that the Fed will reduce these excess reserves in an orderly fashion so that the specter of credit inflation does not raise its head again.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.