Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Greenspan says euro could replace U.S. dollar as reserve currency of choice

Folks, this is a big deal. From the International Herald Tribune:

Former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said it is possible that the euro could replace the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of choice.

According to an advance copy of an interview to be published in Thursday's edition of the German magazine Stern, Greenspan said that the dollar is still slightly ahead in its use as a reserve currency, but added that "it doesn't have all that much of an advantage" anymore.

The euro has been soaring against the U.S. currency in recent weeks, hitting all-time high of US$1.3927 last week as the dollar has fallen on turbulent market conditions stemming from the ongoing U.S. subprime crisis. The Fed meets this week and is expected to lower its benchmark interest rate from the current 5.25 percent.

Greenspan said that at the end of 2006, some 25 percent of all currency reserves held by central banks were held in euros, compared to 66 percent for the U.S. dollar.

In terms of being used as a payment for cross-border transactions, the euro is trailing the dollar only slightly with 39 percent to 43 percent....MORE

Remember these headlines?

Iran to replace dollar with euro

From Al Jazeera

Iran moves to ditch U.S. dollar
From UPI

Iran Asks Japan to Pay Yen for Oil, Start Immediately
From Bloomberg

If you missed it:

International Conference on Gold Dinar Economy
A Blueprint for the Ummah
...Since the gold dinar represents a paradigm shift from the current monetary system, as expected, it has been taking root slowly but firmly. The vulnerability of the current fiat monetary system has prompted even Nobel Laureate Robert Alexander Mundell to say that gold will again return as the international monetary standard in the 21st century. Islamic scholars, on the other hand, have come to remark that the maqasid al-Shariah cannot be attained in a fiat monetary system....

For the Grassy Knoll, Queen of England, Tri-Lateral crowd (and please note the Council on Foreign Relations article below this):

Petrodollar Warfare
The phrase petrodollar warfare refers to a hypothesis that a hidden, driving force of United States foreign policy over recent decades has been the status of the United States dollar as the world's dominant reserve currency and as the currency in which oil is priced. The term was coined by William R. Clark, who has written a book with the same title. The phrase oil currency wars is sometimes used with the same meaning....More at Wikipedia

And out of the link-vault, a slightly different
(okay, very different) approach to currency:
The End of National Currency

Summary: Global financial instability has sparked a surge in "monetary nationalism" -- the idea that countries must make and control their own currencies. But globalization and monetary nationalism are a dangerous combination, a cause of financial crises and geopolitical tension. The world needs to abandon unwanted currencies, replacing them with dollars, euros, and multinational currencies as yet unborn.

Benn Steil is Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and a co-author of Financial Statecraft.

,,,Antiglobalization economists have turned the problem on its head by absolving governments (except the one in Washington) and instead blaming crises on markets and their institutional supporters, such as the IMF -- "dictatorships of international finance," in the words of the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. "Countries are effectively told that if they don't follow certain conditions, the capital markets or the IMF will refuse to lend them money," writes Stiglitz. "They are basically forced to give up part of their sovereignty."...More at Foreign Affairs

Serious indeed.