The is plenty of evidence supporting the belief that the dollar's days as the preeminent currency are coming to an end. One expert believes this event could happen in as short a period as 5 to 10 years. Compared with its peers, the greenback has dropped to a 15-year low.
By Glenn J. Kalinoski
Friday, 15 Feb 2013 10:06 AM
There’s plenty of evidence supporting the belief that the dollar’s days as the preeminent currency are coming to an end, a development that would be catastrophic for the world’s largest economy.
“Generally speaking, it is not believed by the vast majority that the American dollar will be overthrown,” Dick Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, said in a note obtained by CNBC. “But it will be, and this defrocking may occur in as short a period as five to 10 years.”
The greenback is declining as a percentage of the world’s currency supply. Compared with its peers, it has dropped to a 15-year low, as nations show a willingness to use other currencies to conduct business, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The dollar’s share of global money supply has plunged from nearly 90 percent in 1952 to approximately 15 percent. Bove stated that “the Chinese yuan, the yen and the euro each have a greater share of that total,” according CNBC.
“To the degree that China succeeds in increasing its market share of the world’s currency market, the United States is the loser,” Bove said. “For years, I have been arguing that the move of the Chinese makes perfect sense from their point of view but no sense for the Americans.”
The U.S. dollar losing its status as the world’s currency reserve would be critical.
“If the dollar loses status as the world’s most reliable currency, the United States will lose the right to print money to pay its debt,” Bove wrote. “It will be forced to pay this debt. The ratings agencies are already arguing that the government’s debt may be too highly rated. The United States Congress, in both its houses, as well as the president, are demonstrating a total lack of fiscal credibility.”
The struggle regarding budget sequestration could amplify fears of fiscal stability.
“If [dollars] no longer offer the safety that investors have come to expect, they will not function as the stable collateral required by bank funding markets,” Barry Eichengreen, a professor at the University of California, Berkley, warned in a Financial Times commentary last year. “They will not be regarded as an attractive form in which to hold international reserves. And they will not be seen as a convenient vehicle for merchandise transactions.”
The Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy that drives down the value of the dollar could have the side effect of causing the dollar to lose its reserve currency status, according to Fortune magazine.
The low dollar could spark trade wars and upset trading partners, warns Allan Sloan, Fortune’s senior editor at large.
“The Fed is playing a complicated, high-stakes game here. The dollar is the world’s reserve currency, which allows us to suck in money from all over the world to fund our trade and budget deficits without having to balance our accounts,” Sloan wrote.
“There’s a tension between our internal situation (a lower dollar is good) and our role as a reserve currency (a dollar that falls too rapidly risks spooking investors and costing us our reserve-currency status),” he said.
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