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Topic: Cheapest option to ship a bicycle from USA to Singapore

Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 2:35 PM    Quote and Reply


All the asian economies practice currency manipulation - SGD is relatively stable. I disagree with the Gahmen ramping up the population on purely economic grounds with no consideration as to what social and environmental impact this has, just the usual BS in the media - but I don't think that has much to do with the currency value.
BTW I also think Vpost is not very good - they have lost a couple of parcels of mine and they have screwed up some CRC shipments via parcel force (sent them back with no attempt at delivery) I would bite the bullet and use a proper freight forwarder for stuff from the US. DHL will double the price of a complete bike for you. 

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 2:35 PM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by trek790:
Quote:
"Formerly posted by Shahmatt: 
I frankly blame the government for devaluing our currency, making all of us poorer. The currency is the heart of the problem. If they didn't interfere with our SGD and rather, let it appreciate, our economy would create a natural resistance towards cheap foreign labour by just simply being more expensive and hard to enter. There would be less need for all these immigration politics. Like Switzerland, we would live in an expensive country, but everything would still be affordable."


Not sure about the logic but the SGD has actually appreciated against the US$ over the past five years. "


Indeed. But not nearly enough. If there had been no intervention into the SGD value we should be looking at 1USD = 0.5SGD by now. But over the last decade or so there have been periodic corrections by those in power devaluing SGD so that SG exporters are benefited. 

The true effect of currency devaluation is SG exporters are indirectly subsidized by the people, who pay with the decreased purchasing power of SGD savings. IMO devaluation is narrow minded economic management.

With hard working people in Singapore (locals and foreignors both) we should all have become rich by simply holding SGD. Let every other country devalue their currency and suffer the consequences for it. Why should we?

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 4:31 PM    Quote and Reply


First off, full disclosure, I am paid solely with US$.

With a solely export-driven economy, SG needs to keep its currency as low in value as possible. In terms of manufacturing it makes SG goods more competitive, in terms of services it makes the workforce cheaper and in terms of investing directly in the country it makes it cheaper.

On the other hand, yes, it makes life more difficult for the citizenry when they have to pay more in dollars for imported goods (which is everything in SG). But, as the gov't what can you do? You have to provide jobs somehow or else how will people pay for anything?

Ok, here is a story...I'm old so I have lots of stories.     Years ago, an American MNC opened an office in Canada and they hired me for one of the positions. The currency then was US$1=C$1.35. I was getting a decent pay in C$ while they were paying peanuts in US$. They loved it. We were like a cheap Indian branch office but with better timezones. Canadian manufacturers were happy because they could sell cheaper to Americans than American companies themselves. Over the years, though, the rate changed dramatically...went to US$1=C$.90.

I had switched jobs by then but was now paid in US$ so I took a real hit. Canadian manufacturers took an even bigger hit and many closed down. The manufacturing sector in my province went into a tailspin and is still down there somewhere.

So, for me, I much prefer that the US$ be relatively strong to whichever country I am in. I've seen what happens when a country's currency rises too much in value.

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 5:11 PM    Quote and Reply


The belief that a low value currency must be had in order to maintain an export driven economy is widely held, but not actually borne by facts.

Consider Switzerland, and Germany with the Deusch Mark. Both economies grew on cheaper currencies and as their economies grew so did the strength of their currencies. However exports did not suffer very much. Through gradual appreciation of the currencies the export sector adapted. The stronger currencies allowed exporters to import/buy raw materials/manufacture better quality machines, improve automation, relying less on labor. And these countries are still heavily export oriented despite having very strong currencies. How do you explain this? 

As an added benefit the strengthing currencies lead to drops in prices, a.k.a deflation, which made everything so much cheaper and the people happier. 

A strengthening currency may mean that an existing exporter model, say labor intensive, is unviable without change. And so there can be pressure by exporters to cheapen the currency so that the existing businesses can continue to run.

But inflating/devaluing the currency is a devastating method and is not a true solution. When you devalue the currency the cost of manufacturing must increase in the long run, therefore your prices must increase as well. This means that whatever "fix" exporters are given through devaluation can only be short term, since supply and demand will bring said exporter back to reality soon, whatever benefit that is obtained through devaluation is lost.

There is also the moral dilemma. Inflation/devaluation is theft if you think about it, because savings are devalued for what the powers-that-be decide is the greater good.

When it comes to exports we should remember that we export to gather wealth. If we are devaluing our currency to prop up exports then we are damaging wealth. Singapore tries so hard to become wealthy, but through this intervention can never truly achieve this.

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 5:24 PM    Quote and Reply


please stick to the topic thank you


If ya legs ain't stopping, y'all gonna get there.
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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 6:46 PM    Quote and Reply


Funny how both Germany and China two of the worlds biggest exporters are hiding behind artificially low currencies. China because they totally fix the USD:RMB rate, the Germans through the Euro which is way under valued for the German Economy but way over valued for some others, Ze Germans are basking in a huge surplus whilst the PIGS are squealing with collapsing economies. Switzerland mainly deals in luxary goods and money so it is not a really a valid comparison with Ze Germans. But I do agree with you to a certain extent
Currencies do rise and fall with economic strength and a little bit of management of it through interest rates and other fiscal tools is perfectly reasonable,
What I find completely objectionable and wholly wrong is Bailing out banks with Taxpayers money or issuing long term bonds to do it (even worse pass the debt on to our kids) and ridiculously low long term interest rates, quantitative easing (aka printing money) to devalue and inflate your way out of debt - I cannot believe no one has gone to jail over the 2008 collapse or the 1997 asian financial crisis for that matter. These guys sat behind computers shifting money about and their politician chums  are a much bigger threat to our way of life than some bunch of psycho Jihadi's in the middle east in my opinion

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 7:07 PM    Quote and Reply


Note that I said Germany with the Deusch Mark. The cheapening of currencies in Germany and China has naturally resulted in inflation, causing great harm to their economy and wealth of their people. Like Singapore China may never become wealthy with their silly currency manipulation. But soon maybe the tides will turn.

As for the bailouts. Let's put it this way. The US financial sector collapsing was in truth the correction of a bubble - i.e. the correction of an artificial economy conducive to banking and finance created by the US government. If the collapse had happened, perhaps 70 to 80% of the financial sector would have been wiped out. And so it should have been for the resultant size would be what the economy naturally needs. 

Now that same financial sector has been propped up and kept alive through the QE life support system. The economy, sans government intervention, needs even less financial services than it did back in 2008. The only inevitable end game is a massive shrink, far worse than in 2008, and something that even QE will not be able to stop. Spectacular times are a coming.



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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 7:10 PM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by Ken_Buangster: please stick to the topic thank you "


Sorry sorry. Good arc to the main topic though. ;) 

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 7:21 PM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by Ken_Buangster: please stick to the topic thank you "


Quite right, I have started a new thread for this particular topic. 

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Posted on: 26th Nov 2013 7:25 PM    Quote and Reply


It was an old thread from early 2012 that somone had resurected - so don't feel too bad about hijacking it.

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