14 May 2013

Currency Wars: Russia's Proposal for the Post-Bretton Woods II Global Financial System

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics'. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.

When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer."

Eric Arthur Blair

The dollar reserve system has been struggling, if not failing, in stages for at least ten years now.

There have been a series of financial crises since the mid-1990's that are related to the strains of an unsustainable reserve currency system which is no longer able to 'emulate the gold standard,' as ex-Fed Chairman Greenspan described it. 

This situation is a macrocosm of the failings of the Eurocurrency zone as it is presently constituted.

I believe that the ultimate solution will be to migrate global trade to a super-currency, constituted of a basket of currencies and most likely a metal or two, gold and silver. I have been calling it the 'SDR' but that is only a representative description. It is unlikely that 'ownership' of such an important instrument will be given to the IMF unless its management is opened up to a broader representation of countries and their interests.

This relieves the 'owner' of the currency from the need to run trade deficits in order to support the expansion of global trade, and allows them great freedom in pursuing domestic monetary policy without risking the global markets. cf Triffin's Dilemma.

There is a strong push from the Anglo-American banking cartel to maintain the status quo, for what are surely selfish reasons. A strong dollar and the dollar as reserve currency is a powerful tool of financial and political policy, even though it may take a toll on some segments of their own domestic economy. The bankers benefit, and the politicians are somewhat captured by their well-funded lobby. And so we have a bifurcated economic structure in the financialized economies of the US and UK. And this suits the financial elite quite well, but hardly anyone else.

This has come to resemble a form of financial neo-colonialism.  And I hardly think that this is an overstatement of the situation, especially if one considers the meme of 'economic hitmen.'  But this involves more than just the currency.  It includes the interwoven apparatus of the World Bank, the IMF, the Federal Reserve and its clients, the dominance of multinational TBTF banks that enjoy strong government subsidies, the three major US credit ratings agencies, and the NY-London metals complex. And this Frankstein's monster is tottering badly, but seeking to sustain itself at all cost.

So let's see how this goes. Expect the fog of war to remain, and perhaps thicken.  I have rarely read more economic misinformation than I have read with regard to money and exchange rates and the current issues facing the world's economy today. Discourse has been polluted by self interest and corruption.

 But now that moe people are waking up to this, I would look forward to additional recognition and discussion of the ongoing currency war. But I doubt most of it will make much sense until there is another crisis and the day of reckoning arrives. To paraphrase a saying, those who are capable of an oligarchy are capable of the perjury to sustain it.

You might click on some of the category links at the bottom of this posting to obtain past articles on these subjects.

Russia's Plan For The BRICS To Dismantle The Dollar System
By Valentin Mândrăşescu, Editor of Reality Check @ The Voice of Russia
May 12, 2013 at 3:38PM

Former commodity trader, economist, journalist. Nomadic lifestyle. When not in Moscow, he can be found travelling across Eastern Europe. Areas of interest: world economy, East European politics, and the theory of propaganda.

The status of the US dollar as the world reserve currency gives the US a number of advantages over other countries. The world’s most important commodities are priced and traded in dollars, even if most of these commodities are not produced in the US. The fact that the world’s financial system is based on the dollar allows the Federal Reserve to export inflation to other countries, while the Federal Government runs a huge deficit with impunity.

So far, only China has been active in challenging the dollar supremacy. The internationalization of the yuan is an official priority of Chinese leaders. Currency swap agreements with major trade partners like Brazil, France, or Australia are small but important steps in the Chinese strategy. Changing the world financial system is not an easy task and certainly a very challenging undertaking for China. Now, it seems that Beijing has found an ally in the Kremlin. And there appears to be a consensus between the BRICS countries: the urgent necessity to dismantle the dollar system.

A week before the recent BRICS summit in Durban, the Kremlin administration has silently produced a document which describes the Russian strategy in the context of BRICS cooperation. The document makes for a fascinating read for anyone brave enough to plow through the dense Russian legalese. The strategy has been designed in the “inner circle” of Vladimir Putin’s team, so it is safe to assume that it represents the official view on the BRICS future...

Read the entire article here.