The dollar—that thing the Federal Reserve has been printing like mad the last few years—is in one of the worst spells in its history, short, medium, and long-term. Against the world’s major currencies, the dollar’s rate of exchange is down 5% since the Great Recession started, 32% from the 2001 peak, and 15% from the stability achieved in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This is not to imply that the world’s other major currencies are themselves paragons of value. Against gold, all currencies have suffered mightily. But the dollar is especially bleak. It’s devalued 80% against gold since the 1980s, most of that in the last ten years. All of this has basically shown up in the consumer price index. The cost of living is double what it was twenty-five years ago.