x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Way of the world

A reader expresses surprise that the Miss World competition is still running. Other letter topics: the generous ATM, the United Nations and the future of ratings agencies.

A reader is confused about the judging of the Miss World contest, won by Yu Wenxia (centre). How Hwee Young / EPA
A reader is confused about the judging of the Miss World contest, won by Yu Wenxia (centre). How Hwee Young / EPA

??Why the United States can never run out of money

I think Alan Philps, who wrote US voters will choose between two delusions - and no dreams (August 17), misunderstands the United States' economy and monetary system.

The US is an issuer of a fiat currency that it alone has the sole power to create. The only limitation to such creation is inflation.

As such, the US can never "run out of money" or go involuntarily bankrupt. In such a system, to say the country is "living beyond its means" has no meaning.

The money that the US borrows all originates with the US government. Trading partners maintain their piles of US bonds because they don't have any other choice if they want their currency to remain competitive.

Although it is a law to sell bonds for spending above tax revenues, there is no operational reason to do so. The Treasury could spend and the Federal Reserve could credit the excess reserve accounts, which are not counted as debt.

Many nations have this system - including the UAE, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan.

The euro nations, on the other hand, use a foreign currency over which they have no control.

That is why they are in trouble. They are currency users while the US and other nations are currency issuers.

John Wilkins, Dubai

Aussie appreciates celebration of Eid

In reference to Nothing's simple about Eid overseas (August 18), I saw a group of Muslims, mainly international university students, celebrating Eid in the park near my house.

They were all in their varied national costumes and it was quite beautiful.

D Frith, Australia

Dark night indeed for Batman fans

Dark Knight sets before it rises as Imax equipment fails to deliver (August 18) caused me to smile.

While I feel sorry for the Batman fans who wanted the full-on Imax experience, and now have to wait, I can't help but think there is some sort of poetic (or cinematic) justice at play here given the release of the film has already been held back in the UAE for a month. Trevor Long, Abu Dhabi


ATM users should not keep money


Regarding Marina ATM gives wrong value for money (August 17), the people who received more money by mistake may have to refund the money to the bank.

If not, they may face criminal charges. I believe that was the case when a similar incident happened with an ATM from another bank about a decade ago.

Karpaka Rajan V Chettiar, Abu Dhabi

I know Eid is a time for giving, but perhaps this is taking it too far.

Ian Dunn, Abu Dhabi

UN powerless to stop atrocities

Regarding UN appoints new mediator for Syria (August 18), the United Nations is useless. It is time to change the status quo in the world.

Let's concentrate our efforts on people, not artificial, outdated political structures.

Although the UN spends a large percentage of its budget on peacekeeping, it has failed to stop several incidents of genocide and other atrocities throughout the world.

David Yesh, US

Unravelling the Modric mystery

Regarding Modric and Song moving to pastures new (August 19), one day Luka Modric is being traded; another day he is on an airplane; next day Spurs are holding firm for £40 million (Dh230 million).

Every day, it seems, there is a different story about one of the best football players.

He was promised a trade last year if he played well. He played well, but he is being traded for a price that is too high. It is hard to believe that Modric will be playing for anyone except Spurs this year.

J Mack, Dubai

Beauty contest is past use-by date

I was somewhat surprised to read Chinese beauty wins Miss World (August 19), because I thought this competition no longer existed.

While some people find the idea of beauty contests offensive, I simply don't think it is possible, or advisable, to judge one woman more beautiful than all others. James Holder, Dubai


Ratings agencies are under a cloud

Regarding Moody's and S&P set to face US fraud claim (August 19), if these allegations are proven, what will be the credibility of the accused parties in the future?

Naeem Ul Fateh, UK