If the fiscal cliff occurs, I don't think the Federal Reserve has the tools to offset that event.
China is growing very quickly and is clearly becoming an important player in the world economy.
If Australia finds it has a strong Australian dollar, and it has higher unemployment, then it would have to respond, and that would either be by increasing domestic demand or by weakening its own currency.
To achieve a more balanced international system over time, countries with excessive and unsustainable trade surpluses will need to allow their exchange rates to better reflect market fundamentals.
Because a person has to be either working or looking for work to be counted as part of the labor force, an increase in the number of people too discouraged to continue their search for work would reduce the unemployment rate, all else being equal - but not for a positive reason.
Only a strong economy can create higher asset values and sustainably good returns for savers.