Global banks drop the dollar. Should U.S. consumers be afraid?

A Bloomberg.com headline screams Monday: "Dollar Reaches Breaking Point as Banks Shift Reserves." That makes it sound as though the sky is falling, but the real question for U.S. consumers is how will the falling exchange rate of the dollar affects their buying power -- and ultimately, inflation.

"All in all, exchange rates do contain useful information for predicting inflation," noted a September report from the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, "but forecasting inflation simply with an exchange rate is a little like eating dinner with only a knife." The report goes on: "Most economists look at a whole slew of data -- from GDP gaps to commodity price trends -- before forming opinions about inflation trends. Exchange rates should be in the mix and used with caution."