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Counting the Cost
Currency wars
We look at the idea of a global currency war and the business of art in an economic downturn.
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2010 10:52 GMT

"Money, it's a crime
Share it fairly
But don't take a slice of my pie"
 
                    Money
                            Pink Floyd, 1973

I wonder if Wen Jiabao is a fan of Pink Floyd? 

Random question I know, but I just thought those lyrics from Pink Floyd’' song Money fitted China's, and the world's currency dramas quite well.

For so long, China has been accused of keeping its currency – the Yuan – artificially low, thus helping Chinese exports which in turn helps the economy as a whole. In other words, it stops the world taking a "slice of my pie".

Before I get too abstract, I should explain that the idea of a global "currency war" is our focus this week on CTC.

China and Japan have been two countries in the news over currency issues (opposite ones, as it happens) but it's spreading. Not surprising in one sense, because in an economic climate like this countries are always going to look out for their own interests. It's just that that sort of self-preservation has a big impact on everyone else.

So we'll look at that for a few different angles this week … including an interview with Michael Power from Investec Asset Management, who spoke to Samah el-Shahat. 

Christie's in Doha

I had a lovely time earlier this week at Doha's Four Seasons Hotel, where the world-famous Christie's auction house rolled into town.

They were exhibiting some paintings that are due to go under the hammer in Dubai at the end of the month, and I had the pleasure of speaking to Jussi Pylkkänen, the president of Christie's Europe and Middle East.

We talked art, but more relevant to CTC we talked about the business of art. It is quite astonishing  ... the amount of money which investors will spend on art.

And what intrigued me the most was that, even in an economic downturn, people were still spending astonishing amounts of money on art!

As Jussi explains, a valuable painting will always be a valuable painting, regardless of the economic climate. I guess I can accept that … but what about saving for a rainy day too?!

Lots more on this week's show, so make sure you catch it on TV. And do get in touch on twitteras well … we love getting your feedback!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2130; Saturday: 0300, 1230; Sunday: 0630, 1930; Monday: 0030, 0730.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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