Can US Dollar Maintain Legacy As Global Currency Essay

A modesty currency is a currency held in important measures by cardinal Bankss and major fiscal establishments as portion of their foreign exchange militias, means to pay off international debt duties, or act upon their domesticA exchange rate. A big per centum ofA trade goods such as gold and oil are internationally traded and normally priced in the modesty currency, doing other states to keep this currency to pay for these goods.

Till the eighteenth century money was made from cherished metals and non printed. From 1700 to 1900 the UK Pound, Gallic Franc and Dutch Guilder were the major currencies used as a modesty for other states. Decades before the First World War, the international gold criterion emerged as the penchant of modesty for bulk of the economic systems. The terminal of Second World War gave manner to the Bretton Woods system, wherein the US authorities guaranteed other cardinal Bankss that they could sell US dollar militias at a fixed rate for gold if they desired. These were the seeds sown by the US authorities to do its currency a globally accepted modesty currency.

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This was followed by the European states and Japan intentionally devaluating their currencies against the dollar to hike exports and development. This made the dollar stronger by every passing minute. However, concerns about the turning shortages in the US, finally were unattended due to a deficiency of a rival currency.

Is the US Dollar as a modesty currency sustainable?

The chiefly ground to oppugn the sustainability of Dollar being positioned as ‘global modesty currency ‘ is due to worsening value and inauspicious basicss of United States. The Dollar has fallen by 15 % against major planetary currencies since March 2009. The widening financial shortage and public debt has deteriorated the basicss of United States.

For the financial twelvemonth 2009 the shortage amounted to a record of US $ 1.42 trillion ( more than 3 times the record set in FY2009 ) . ‘Formerly the creditor of the universe, U.S. is now the largest debitor of the universe ‘ . As per the statistics1, the US national debt ( or public debt ) stands at US $ 11.8 trillion ( about US $ 38,679/citizen ) . Over the past 2 old ages, the national debt increased by US $ 3.75 billion/day. However, the national debt sum does non include intra governmental debt duties or debt held for Social Security. Adding this, the entire debt of United States will balloon to over US $ 59.1 trillion ( a head blowing 4.1x of financial twelvemonth 2008 GDP2 ) . The US authorities would happen it hard to pay an extra involvement rate of 1 % as that would run out out US $ 591 billion out of the US economic system ( or approximately 4.1 % of 2008 GDP ) .

Persistent rise in financial shortage and national debt of United States is being a cause of concern for private investors and authoritiess that have lent to the US authorities. The debt load on the US authorities has now become tremendous that extra loaning could be considered as a hazardous investing. US Federal Bank, one time considered a safe oasis post the 2nd universe war, is now confronting a terrible national debt crisis which could destruct the hereafter of US $ being continued as the modesty currency globally.

Coupled with the US economic crisis and its currency depreciation over the past few old ages, which started with the prostration of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 led to massive decrease in consumer and corporate disbursement. This resulted in the planetary liquidness crisis as the United States could non provide its currency to the universe. Besides, altering attitude of Americans and the Obama disposal to travel towards ‘savings ‘ from the current ‘spending ‘ economic system could present a menace for Dollar to keep its modesty currency position.

The Alternative to the Dollar

Before the dollar loses its domination, allow ‘s expression at the assorted options to the dollar as the hereafter modesty currency.

Euro: The Euro is the universe ‘s most actively traded currency following the dollar thereby doing it extremely liquid. Besides, the Euro is the 2nd largest modesty currency in the universe ( refer in table below ) . It has systematically increased its portion since its origin in 1999. States such as Russia have replaced Euro as its basic modesty currency from the bing Dollar. Russia now holds about 47.5 % of its militias in Euro ( about 6 % points more than US $ ) 3.

However, going a modesty currency for the universe could make significant jobs for the European Union economic system. Once a modesty currency, the demand for Euro by cardinal Bankss globally would increase thereby forcing up the value of its currency. This could significantly halter the EU economic systems as bulk of its states are extremely dependent on exports.

IMF Special Drawing Rights ( SDRs ) : In March 2009, China called for the revamping of the international pecuniary system. China wants SDRs to replace the Dollar as the new international modesty currency and decrease the US economic domination.

China has suggested that SDR has the possible to move as a “ super-sovereign ” modesty currency, crossing national legal powers and could inculcate assurance in the international pecuniary system. The proposal would cut down the hazards associated as the currency would be backed by ‘real gold ‘ instead than ‘credit ‘ issued by the issuing state. Besides, utilizing SDR would enable pull offing planetary liquidness and instabilities more efficaciously.

Supranational currency: Merely prior to the G20 meet, in March 2009, Russia proposed debut of a ‘supra-national currency ‘ to be issued by international fiscal establishments. The Russian authorities besides designed the coin for the new currency thereby demoing clear marks of its purposes to replace the Dollar. However, the chiefly ground for this move by Russia is to replace the Dollar laterality in planetary trade.

Asia-common currency: Since the 1997 Asiatic crisis, Asiatic states have strived together to keep economic stableness among their states and currencies. In September 2009, the Asian Development Bank head called for initiation of ‘Asia-common ‘ currency, as a portion of a joint attempt to forestall any hereafter planetary fiscal crisis and cut downing exchange rate hazards. Once formulated, it would go the 3rd international pecuniary currency.

The understanding of Asiatic elephantine i.e. the Chinese economic system would be important to set up a common Asiatic currency, as it plays a big function in the planetary trade activity. Besides the constitution of the ‘Asia-common ‘ currency could be possible in 5-7 old ages.

Chinese Yuan: The argument of Chinese ‘Yuan ‘ emerging as the planetary modesty currency has been traveling on since sometimes. However, it is queerly absorbing to cognize that ‘Yuan ‘ is being termed as the possible replacing for Dollar at a clip when currency is still under exchange control and China is yet to achieve full capital history convertibility.

China ‘s aspires to do its currency more powerful globally, nevertheless it does n’t non anticipate ‘Yuan ‘ replacing the US Dollar as the primary modesty currency. The authorities has indicated its end of ‘Yuan ‘ lending more than 3 % of planetary foreign exchange militias by 2020. This clearly regulations out any guess of the ‘Yuan ‘ replacing the Dollar in the hereafter, possibly decennaries.


Harmonizing to Professor Avinash Persuad, “ If your currency is a modesty currency, you can pay for things by composing checks, which cipher hard currencies. You can pass more than you earn to a far greater extent than anyone else. ” This is precisely what United States has done over the past old ages. Besides, holding the international currency position lends the host state greater influence among states worldwide.

However the sustainability of US Dollar as a dominant planetary modesty currency seems black due to the weakening currency, hapless basicss, changeless rise in debt load, and alterations in attitude to salvage instead than pass. Besides, the worsening assurance in US Dollar among other major states such as China, Russia and Gulf states to call a few makes it apparent that there is a demand for a important alteration in the international pecuniary system.

The strongest rival that can replace the US Dollar is the Euro, but the European Central Bank has refrained from advancing Euro as an international modesty currency as it would impact its domestic economic system. The Chinese Yuan could hold been a strong replacing if it had non followed exchange control policies and adopted complete capital history convertibility. This leaves us with 2 possible options – the SDRs and holding multiple planetary currencies ( i.e. 3 major planetary currencies: US Dollar, Euro, and Single-Asia currency ) .

However, switching to an alternate modesty currency would necessitate consensus among states apart from other legal, political and economic models which would be considered. This procedure of gradual unwinding of the US Dollar laterality and replacing with a new planetary modesty currency could take a long clip i.e. about a decennary.

“ The dollar is dead, the procedure of entombment is in advancement! ! ! ”

References & A ; Notes


1 As of November 2, 2009 at 04:18:55pm GMT – hypertext transfer protocol: //

2 US GDP for financial twelvemonth 2008 is US $ 14.4 trillion, as per U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

3 As of January 1, 2009, Russia ‘s Central Bank holds 47.5 % of its modesty assets in Euro and 41.5 % of its militias in US Dollar


“ Biography of the DOLLAR ” by Craig Karmin

Newspapers / Magazines:

The Economic Times

Business Standard

Hindu Business Line

Financial Times


China Daily

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