Anthony Migchels | Real Currencies
For years now, the collapse of the dollar has been in the cards. Recent developments show mounting pressure on the dollar’s reserve currency status. With a major international deflation going on, the threat of inflation through money printing is unreal. However, should the dollar’s reserve currency status end, the repatriation of trillions of petro- and eurodollars could lead to a strongly inflationary scenario.
The roles of a reserve currency are to finance international trade and to function as a store of value for Governments. Until the second world war it used to be the British pound, but with the demise of the British Empire, the pound lost its international relevance and was overtaken by the dollar. This was formalized in the 1944 Bretton Woods system. All other currencies were fiat currencies, but pegged to the dollar, which in turn was pegged to Gold at 40 dollars an ounce and redeemable for international trading partners.
With the dollar as the reserve currency, the US had to export dollars. In the early years after the war especially for Europe, the famous Eurodollars. This sounds great: print money and buy whatever you like. But with the Gold window it was also risky: overprinting could mean excess dollars would be exchanged back to Gold, depleting US Gold reserves.
This was also a weakness that those annoyed with American Hegemony could exploit. In 1967 the leftist press mogul Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber penned a famous screed called ‘le défi Américain’ (the American challenge’), arguing Europe was being colonized economically by superior American competition.
France, at the time, was run by de Gaulle, who never was impressed with Anglo-American supremacy. He made a point of exchanging every dollar he could lay his hands on as a means to undermine it.
In the late sixties the situation got badly out of hand because of the Great Society and the Vietnam war, very costly projects that were deficit financed, leading to serious inflationary pressures. Inflation that the US tried to export, leading to an excess of dollars abroad. Especially the resurging Deutschmark’s appreciation became untenable. The Europeans started pressuring the US to fix its deficits, provoking the US Treasury Secretary John Connally famous cry ‘the dollar is our currency and your problem’.
But the situation had become unsustainable and Nixon was forced to close the Gold window to stop the depletion of US gold. This was the end of the Bretton Woods system and from then on the major currencies were floated freely in the international currency markets.
But it did not end the dollar reserve currency status, as the Empire had been found another basis for it: they reached an agreement with the House of Saud, to accept only dollars for its oil. The Sauds agreed to invest their dollar wealth on Wall Street, making the deal even more powerful for the Empire. Saudi Arabia controlled OPEC and the dollar was saved: international oil trading is financed with dollar only. Since then we have been on an informal Black Gold standard, known as the petrodollar.
This situation was better than before, because overprinting of the dollar for international trade or to finance all sorts Empire projects could no longer be punished by depleting Gold reserves and would result only in rising prices.
In the last decade the problem of over printing was solved by artificially raising oil prices through the Peak Oil hoax, and ending Iraqi oil production. It must be understood that the Empire is not looking for more oil production. There is so much oil in the world that should it be drilled for freely, it would end the Money Power’s energy monopoly. The Iraq invasion and the quest for control of the Middle-East is to keep a lid on oil production. Saddam’s suicidal decision to accept euro for his oil only hastened his demise.
Even today Iraqi oil production is not even half of what it was before 1991. With the Western Oil companies now in charge, it will most likely never fully recover.
By raising the price for oil, the oil market has mopped up excess dollar supplies, which are now needed for the oil trade. As a result, the dollar has remained relatively stable in its value. Of course, it fits well with the agenda of decapitating the middle classes and under this agreement higher oil prices also means ever more oil profits invested in Wall Street.
Of course, the great boon of this for the Empire is that it can pay with worthless paper for real goods. It can eternally finance a major trade deficit.
Trade deficits are incorrectly understood as problematic.
From a nation’s point of view, the goal of trade is not to export, but to import. We export to give back for what we need from others. If you run the reserve currency, you don’t need to export as much as you import, because you can partially finance your imports with money printing. For all other nations this is impossible and trade deficits are lethal in the long run, as it leads to net capital outflow.
But the US Empire is in trouble. Its infrastructure is crumbling, its manufacturing base gone, its badly over extended. It needs ever more virulent threats to coerce the nations into dollar submission and just like Connally failed in 1971, the US is failing today. The Money Power is done with the Empire and the dollar and it is moving to the next phase. The dollar will have to step back and we are seeing a realignment.
The new currency order
China is moving towards a Gold backed yuan that will be very powerful in the international arena. Recently Australia, which is already completely dependent on China, with 30% of its exports going there, is preparing direct convertibility between the yuan and the Australian dollar, meaning they will no longer use US dollar to finance bilateral trade. This means less US dollars are needed in its reserve currency role.
In 2001 Goldman Sachs executive Jim O’Neill invented the BRIC’s. Russia and China, as two powerful neighbors obviously have long standing and important bilateral relations. But equally obviously, have little in common with Brazil and South Africa. However, in 2009 they organized a first summit. Just a week ago we all of the sudden hear the BRIC’s are planning to open up a competitor to the IMF. India is also involved. They’re still working out the details and it’s not a done deal yet, but the move looks very serious.
And there is of course the euro, which, make no mistake, is in great shape. True, Eurocrat legitimacy is suffering because of the euro crisis, even in Germany the currency is losing support. But the euro crisis is purely for internal consumption, to sucker the nations into surrendering budget responsibility to Brussels. This is the final frontier for a full blown EU federalist Super State. While the euro is deeply hated, this is not really a problem for the Money Power: it isn’t in this business to make friends and it does not mind a big fight. It only fears real alternatives and these are nowhere to be seen. There is nobody proposing anything real, people are just letting off steam. Once they get their fiscal union, the crisis will quickly end. People have a short memory.
The euro was designed to be eventually backed by Gold and the ECB has enough of the stuff to be ready for the coming transition.
We are seeing the advent of the new currency order. There will be a number of more or less equal blocks: a dollar zone, a Yuan/BRI(I)C zone and the euro, with the Yen and the Pound as lesser entities. These will later be able to converge to even more ‘cooperation’, in the Money Power’s relentless march towards World Currency.
These units will be at least partially Gold backed, implying long term deflationary pressures. Central Banks are buying Gold in major quantities, creating the interesting question why Gold prices have not risen in the last 18 months.
The problem for the United States will be to manage the transition. Trillions of dollars that will no longer be needed will have to be repatriated and this will lead to very strong inflationary pressures at home. It is unclear how the Fed is going to deal with that. It probably can’t. Furthermore, the US is probably in the worst of positions to deal with a new Gold standard. They claim to have 8,000 tonnes of Gold in Fort Knox, but nobody really believes that.
The hyperinflation scare that the Austrians have been promoting because of ‘money printing’ is ridiculous: we are in a stagflationary depression and prices are rising because of speculation, not because of excess money. But when the dollar loses its current status, long term price rises will become the norm.
The Greatest Depression has only just started.
Source: Real Currencies.wordpress.com