Posts Tagged ‘dollar demise’

The demise of the US dollar

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The theme of the weakening dollar is heralded in all news media.

This is nothing new to be honest and this was said years ago, even decades ago, until the dollar strengthened and then weakened ago.

Abandoning the dollar as the main international currency is a topic probably older than most currency traders nowadays. But years after years the dollar remains the main currency for forex trading, real goods trading, commodity trading in particular crude oil, currency reserves, etc. And if you travel and believe me I have traveled, and if you can only carry one currency with you, which one do you think it is going to be? Ok, ok sometimes the euro is more accepted such as in old French colonies in Africa, but this is by far the minority.

So why do people keep on writing thousands of pages and blogs about the demise of the dollar? The short answer I guess is people do not learn. Anyway the slightly longer answer is you need a currency to replace the dollar. It is not going to be the euro, because the euro is still a new currency (ten years old!) and even a large portion of Europeans do not like the euro, and it would be hard to convince the rest of the World to make it the reference currency. Yes one reason they do not like it is that it has induced concealed inflation.

You see, you need one currency to replace the dollar, and that currency has to be strong. The dollar will not be replaced by a smaller currency. Using a basket of currency to replace the dollar will never happen either. Why? Because a basket is not a currency in itself, it is an artificial creation with no relation to a real physical reality. The dollar is the dollar because it is backed by the power of the United States economy and population and army. Three not small backers. Baskets never have and never will be trusted and be able to compete with a true currency. Historically they have never worked. Just take the example of the predecessor of the euro, the ECU. It failed like all baskets, because the weaker elements in the basket make the basket fail.

So the point is only a currency can replace the dollar and it has to be strong. I just explained that the euro is not ready, far from it. What are the other strong currencies. The British Pound and Swiss French are way too small and local currencies to be even considered. The real serious contender is the Japanese Yen, and here again it cannot and will never replace the US dollar. First Japan is less than half the size of the US economy. Japan has no military. The Japanese Yen is not use as a currency for trading, unless one Japanese counterpart is involved in the transaction as buyer or seller.

So here we are, keep on printing pages after pages saying that crude oil will soon be traded in another currency like you have been saying for over ten years, and I am still waiting.

Wait, wait. So that is it? The truth is yes that is it. I hear someone say the Yuan. Please do I need to answer that? It is not even a freely traded currency please.

Summary: the dollar will remain the dominant world currency as long as there is no candidate for its replacement.