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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roubini's Renmimbi


Nouriel Roubini has an op-ed in the NY Times, saying that the renmimbi will be the new reserve currency of the world. (but it may take some time)

Yeh right.

Maybe Roubini should look in his own backyard.

It's not even the currency of choice on Canal street!

Traditionally, empires that hold the global reserve currency are also net foreign creditors and net lenders. The British Empire declined — and the pound lost its status as the main global reserve currency — when Britain became a net debtor and a net borrower in World War II. Today, the United States is in a similar position. It is running huge budget and trade deficits, and is relying on the kindness of restless foreign creditors who are starting to feel uneasy about accumulating even more dollar assets. The resulting downfall of the dollar may be only a matter of time.

But what could replace it? The British pound, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc remain minor reserve currencies, as those countries are not major powers. Gold is still a barbaric relic whose value rises only when inflation is high. The euro is hobbled by concerns about the long-term viability of the European Monetary Union. That leaves the renminbi.

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