For many, this is an exciting time of the year. Hunters, for example, are busy preparing for their pursuit of the big buck. Many retailers are excited too, anticipating the onslaught of hunters coming in to gear up and put the finishing touches on their hunting camps. And, no doubt, anticipating some nice profits.
They’re already bagging bucks, as the bow season has been underway since
Oct. 1. And when the traditional Nov. 15 opening date for the firearms
season kicks in, more sales will be rung up.
It’s a simple fact. This time of year is important to Michigan. The hunt
for the buck puts a lot of dollars into the state’s economy.The buck is
also getting a lot of attention on the national scene. The buck I’m
referring to here, of course, is the U.S. dollar, quite commonly
referred to as a buck.
The slang term buck in connection to the dollar goes back to the days
when the early settlers were trading with the Native Americans. The rate
of exchange was a deer hide for a dollar, thus the term buck.
On a national as well as international level, the currency version of
the buck has been making big news. Most Americans probably don’t pay
much attention to how the U.S. dollar is doing relative to other
They don’t wake up in the morning, turn on the television and eagerly
await the latest developments from the international currency scene. In
other words, the dollar’s relationship to other currencies is something
about which most Americans little know or care.
In reality, though, it has an impact on us each and every day. One
example is the falling price of gasoline. The strength of the U.S.
dollar versus foreign currencies is a major reason why gasoline prices
have fallen. So far this year the dollar index, which is a measurement
of the dollar’s strength against a basket of major foreign currencies,
has climbed 7 percent. For 12 consecutive weeks the U.S. dollar is up
against the euro and Japanese yen.
There’s no question that the rising dollar has taken a lot of economists
by surprise, especially considering the staggering amount of our
national debt. However, with all the turmoil around the globe, we are
still viewed as the world’s safe haven.
One well-known politician was quoted as saying “It means we have the
best horse in the glue factory.” While that’s not exactly what you would
call high praise, a strong dollar does have some benefits. In addition
to the falling price of gasoline, it also means a European vacation will
be a bit cheaper than it was last year.
That’s not to say there aren’t any negatives. There are. For example,
it’s now a lot more challenging for American car companies to sell their
vehicles overseas. For that matter, almost any American company selling
goods overseas now has a higher hurdle to overcome.
As consumers and investors, we need to be aware that the dollar’s
movement up and down in value relative to other currencies can have an
impact on our daily expenses and the value of our nest eggs. I believe
it is a positive that, despite all of our nation’s financial issues, we
are still viewed as the safe haven of the world.