The idea that weak currencies give a country’s businesses and industries a competitive edge against their counterparts located in countries with stronger currencies is widely held by businessmen—like President Trump. But, when it comes to international economics and currency exchange rates, most businessmen are clueless. President Trump is not alone.

Instead of relying on fantastic theories spun by the President and other businessmen, let’s take a look at the evidence and the facts.

Last week in Tokyo, while addressing the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia (Nikkei Conference), Malaysia’s Prime Minister, the venerable Mahathir Mohamad, went for gold. He brought the audience to attention by proposing an Asian currency linked to gold. Dr. Mahathir argued that such a currency would promote regional stability, while avoiding the so-called “dollar trap” (read: dollar dependency). This time around, the ninety-three-year-old Mahathir is onto something—something that would deliver its advertised benefits.

Just what is Turkey’s inflation rate? Today, Turkey’s annual inflation rate is 49 percent. How do I measure elevated inflation? The most important price in an economy is the exchange rate between the local currency – in this case, the lira – and the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar. As long as there is an active free market for currency and the data are available, changes in the exchange rate can be reliably transformed into accurate measurements of countrywide inflation rates.