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article imageDollar Shock!! UN Panel Says World should Ditch the Dollar

By Bill Jencks     Mar 21, 2009 in Politics
So it has finally happened. Next Monday, a UN panel of financial experts will be announcing and advising that the US dollar should give up its status as a world reserve currency. The impacts of this for America will be economically hard and difficult.
In a startling article from Reuters, I have just read how a specialist UN Economic panel - The U.N. Commission of Experts on International Financial Reform which is working with the US government - has advised that the US Dollar should no longer be the the World's Reserve currency. The main reason given for this economic bombshell is that the American government is clearly unable to to deal with its own raging financial problems and political fires as well as with the difficult and conflicting problems associated with the world reserve dollar. This would also indicate that the current status of the American economy is much worse than is currently being reported - since America may well be heading for a period of economic depression or even bankruptcy. As I've been saying in some of my articles, many foreign countries are both fed up with the unreliable volatility and inflation of the dollar as well as from the poor paying US Treasuries which could lead to major countries dumping both dollars and Treasuries - which would cause a run on the greenback and lead to even worse economic conditions for America, perhaps even causing hyperinflation. My guess is that other regional areas and countries like China, Europe, Russia and the Middle East have already been made aware of this change in dollar status some time ago, and that America is hoping for a graceful and economically painless withdrawal of the dollar as a world reserve currency.
Notably, and under the blanket of all the current AIG furore, this shocking and huge dollar news has not been widely reported as yet. More is likely to become known after the G20 Summit in London in April.
The likely economic outcome of this changing dollar event will be:
* The American govt. will have more economic leeway to deal with its current financial mess.
* Dollar value will slide considerably(possibly by 40%-50%) or the US govt. may well devalue the dollar in anticipation. Good for US exports, very bad for mainstreet Americans.
* Initial short term impacts on the release of this news will be a mass exodus from the US markets, a de-leveraging in all US stocks, bonds and dollar denominated assets.
* Due to the inevitable reduction in purchase and holdings of US Treasuries and dollars, the American government will now have to find another way of paying its debts and generating credit. The American govt. will, therefore, have no choice but to tax its own citizens and businesses more heavily. American financial habits and lifestyles will be forced to change radically because of this event.
* Regional currencies will spring up. As I have reported in other articles - both China(Yuan) and the middle East(Khaleeji) will be introducing their own regional currencies soon. Russia will also be using her ruble currency as a regional reserve asset.
* Gold and other precious metals, as a currency asset, will become much more important. The demand and price of gold and silver will go up.
* Any currency that is not associated with a regional currency, like the UK pound sterling, will be left out in the cold and suffer badly.
* The price of oil will rise.
* Economic power and wealth will inevitably shift and move from the West to the East.
Here is the Reuters article:
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A U.N. panel will next week recommend that the world ditch the dollar as its reserve currency in favor of a shared basket of currencies, a member of the panel said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on the dollar.
Currency specialist Avinash Persaud, a member of the panel of experts, told a Reuters Funds Summit in Luxembourg that the proposal was to create something like the old Ecu, or European currency unit, that was a hard-traded, weighted basket.
Persaud, chairman of consultants Intelligence Capital and a former currency chief at JPMorgan, said the recommendation would be one of a number delivered to the United Nations on March 25 by the U.N. Commission of Experts on International Financial Reform.
"It is a good moment to move to a shared reserve currency," he said.
Central banks hold their reserves in a variety of currencies and gold, but the dollar has dominated as the most convincing store of value -- though its rate has wavered in recent years as the United States ran up huge twin budget and external deficits.
Some analysts said news of the U.N. panel's recommendation extended dollar losses because it fed into concerns about the future of the greenback as the main global reserve currency, raising the chances of central bank sales of dollar holdings.
"Speculation that major central banks would begin rebalancing their FX reserves has risen since the intensification of the dollar's slide between 2002 and mid-2008," CMC Markets said in a note.
Russia is also planning to propose the creation of a new reserve currency, to be issued by international financial institutions, at the April G20 meeting, according to the text of its proposals published on Monday.
It has significantly reduced the dollar's share in its own reserves in recent years.
Persaud said that the United States was concerned that holding the reserve currency made it impossible to run policy, while the rest of world was also unhappy with the generally declining dollar.
"There is a moment that can be grasped for change," he said.
"Today the Americans complain that when the world wants to save, it means a deficit. A shared (reserve) would reduce the possibility of global imbalances."
Persaud said the panel had been looking at using something like an expanded Special Drawing Right, originally created by the International Monetary Fund in 1969 but now used mainly as an accounting unit within similar organizations.
The SDR and the old Ecu are essentially combinations of currencies, weighted to a constituent's economic clout, which can be valued against other currencies and indeed against those inside the basket.
Persaud said there were two main reasons why policymakers might consider such a move, one being the current desire for a change from the dollar.
The other reason, he said, was the success of the euro, which incorporated a number of currencies but roughly speaking held on to the stability of the old German deutschemark compared with, say, the Greek drachma.
Persaud has long argued that the dollar would give way to the Chinese yuan as a global reserve currency within decades.
A shared reserve currency might negate this move, he said, but he believed that China would still like to take on the role.
Avinash Persaud and his team will be presenting their assessment and recommendations to the UN next Monday. If you want to watch Avinash Persaud's current assessment of the US Dollar, here is the link to the Reuter's Video(this video is not available on YouTube or Google Video yet.):
UN Panel says world should ditch the Dollar
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