By MARC MCDONALD
The plunging dollar has taken a beating lately on international markets. But at least one wealthy investor may be set to profit from the dollar's decline: Dick Cheney.
Back in June 2006, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine reported that Cheney's financial advisers were apparently betting on a rise in inflation and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies.
Cheney and his wife, Lynne, the magazine noted, had between $10 million and $25 million in American Century International Bond (BEGBX). As Kiplinger pointed out, the fund "buys mainly high-quality foreign bonds (predominantly in Europe) and rarely hedges against possible increases in the value of the dollar. Indeed, its prospectus limits dollar exposure to 25 percent of assets and the fund currently has only 6 percent of assets in dollars, according to an American Century spokesman."
Assuming Cheney still holds the fund, he has done well: BEGBX returned 8.3 percent in 2006 and 9.9 percent in 2007. And if he was counting on a dollar decline, of course, he's done well in that regard, as well: in recent days, the dollar has continued to plunge to new all-time lows against the euro. The dollar has also fallen to 12-year lows against the yen. The weak dollar trend looks set to continue as the Fed continues to slash interest rates.
Economists have noted that the weak dollar stems from America's titanic fiscal deficits, which have soared as a result of the disastrous Iraq War.
It's notable that Cheney once claimed that "deficits don't matter." But by banking on a declining dollar, it's clear that even Cheney knows this is bullsh*t and that deficits do indeed matter.