Dollar Intervention

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday that government intervention in the market to bolster the dollar's value remains a possibility.

"I would never take intervention off the table or any policy tool off the table. I just can't speculate about what we will or won't do," Paulson said in an appearance on CNBC.

Paulson, asked about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's reiteration last week of the Bush's administration strong-dollar policy, downplayed the idea that the Treasury Department and the Fed were taking unusual or highly coordinated steps to talk up the U.S. currency.

"We communicate all the time on a number of topics," Paulson said.

The secretary called oil prices at current levels "a problem" creating a headwind for the U.S. economy, but he said the cause was rising global demand and ever-tightening supplies.

Saudi Arabia's plan, announced Monday, to convene representatives of oil-producing and -consuming nations is a good idea, Paulson said. But such talks, he said, should be aimed at finding long-term solutions to the supply crunch.

On Tsy Paulson's recent forex intervention comments: "The rhetoric is certainly getting more direct," said Mike Moran of Standard Chartered Bank. "Both the Fed and the Treasury are clearing any ambiguities left that the weak dollar is causing a problem." Especially, he added, after comments from Geithner this hour that global economies may see tighter monetary policy and that no central bank can be indifferent to dollar value. Still, the likelihood of dollar intervention is not very high, said Moran. "(Paulson) is just reminding the market there are tools at their disposal which they can fall back on should volatility in foreign exchange markets deteriorate against their expectations."


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