The Final Word by Jim Thompson

It appears the pulp and paper industry will arrive at 2008 in fairly good shape. Most grades seem to be in balance worldwide and capital spending is moderate—-no extremes to the upside or down. I think most executives in the industry can approach 2008 with only a small bottle of antacids-—a good place to be.

There is always a “but” though, and here it is: The U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar has fallen 26% against the Euro since 2002. The Canadian dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar for the first time in 30 years. The major problem with this is that money-center banks keep their reserves in dollars. If a panic sets in, the first few that exchange dollars for something else will be OK, the rest will have a big problem, meaning you and I (and I don’t care where you live, this is not just a U.S. problem) will have a big problem, corporately and personally. The U.S. dollar may be the big story of 2008.