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"China calls for new reserve currency (replacing US dollar)

Published:

"U.N. panel says world should ditch dollar | U.S. | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52H2CY20090318

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"China calls for new reserve currency
By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing

Source The Financial Times 

Published: March 23 2009 12:16 | Last updated: March 24 2009 00:06

"China’s central bank on Monday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.

In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies”.

Analysts said the proposal was an indication of Beijing’s fears that actions being taken to save the domestic US economy would have a negative impact on China.

“This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC.

Although Mr Zhou did not mention the US dollar, the essay gave a pointed critique of the current dollar-dominated monetary system.

“The outbreak of the [current] crisis and its spillover to the entire world reflected the inherent vulnerabilities and systemic risks in the existing international monetary system,” Mr Zhou wrote.

China has little choice but to hold the bulk of its $2,000bn of foreign exchange reserves in US dollars, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.

To replace the current system, Mr Zhou suggested expanding the role of special drawing rights, which were introduced by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate regime but became less relevant once that collapsed in the 1970s.

Today, the value of SDRs is based on a basket of four currencies – the US dollar, yen, euro and sterling – and they are used largely as a unit of account by the IMF and some other international organisations.

China’s proposal would expand the basket of currencies forming the basis of SDR valuation to all major economies and set up a settlement system between SDRs and other currencies so they could be used in international trade and financial transactions.

Countries would entrust a portion of their SDR reserves to the IMF to manage collectively on their behalf and SDRs would gradually replace existing reserve currencies.

Mr Zhou said the proposal would require “extraordinary political vision and courage” and acknowledged a debt to John Maynard Keynes, who made a similar suggestion in the 1940s. 

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009 "

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7851925a-17a2-11de-8c9d-0000779fd2ac.html

Entry #1,080

Comments

1.
konaneComment by konane - March 24, 2009, 8:57 am
Forgot to post this:

"At G20, Kremlin to Pitch New Currency
Source The Moscow Times.com
17 March 2009By Ira Iosebashvili /

"The Moscow TimesThe Kremlin published its priorities Monday for an upcoming meeting of the G20, calling for the creation of a supranational reserve currency to be issued by international institutions as part of a reform of the global financial system.

The International Monetary Fund should investigate the possible creation of a new reserve currency, widening the list of reserve currencies or using its already existing Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, as a "superreserve currency accepted by the whole of the international community," the Kremlin said in a statement issued on its web site.

The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries.

The Kremlin has persistently criticized the dollar's status as the dominant global reserve currency and has lowered its own dollar holdings in the last few years. Both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have repeatedly called for the ruble to be used as a regional reserve currency, although the idea has received little support outside of Russia.

Analysts said the new Kremlin proposal would elicit little excitement among the G20 members.

"This is all in the realm of fantasy," said Sergei Perminov, chief strategist at Rye, Man and Gore. "There was a situation that resembled what they are talking about. It was called the gold standard, and it ended very badly.

"Alternatives to the dollar are still hard to find," he said.

The Kremlin's call for a common currency is not the first in recent days. Speaking at an economic conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, last week, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed a global currency called the "acmetal" -- a conflation of the words "acme" and "capital."

He also suggested that the Eurasian Economic Community, a loose group of five former Soviet republics including Kazakhstan and Russia, adopt a single noncash currency -- the yevraz -- to insulate itself from the global economic crisis.

The suggestions received a lukewarm response from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday.

Nazarbayev's proposal did, however, garner support from at least one prominent source -- Columbia University professor Robert Mundell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1999 for his role in creating the euro.

Speaking at the same conference with Nazarbayev, he said the idea had "great promise."

The Kremlin document also called for national banks and international financial institutions to diversify their foreign currency reserves. It said the global financial system should be restructured to prevent future crises and proposed holding an international conference after the G20 summit to adopt conventions on a new global financial structure.

The Group of 20 industrialized and developing countries will meet in London on April 2."        http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/600/42/375364.htm

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