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30 July 2014.|
Let's reduce the influence of the US Dollar.
Imagine a single currency, all around the world.
No more converting between Dollars and Euros and Pounds.
The money in your wallet is your ticket to ride anywhere.
Sound like a fantasy?
Throughout history it's been more or less the standard.
The coins from one era might come from Rome or Madrid or London, but one accepted unit of exchange was the norm until very recently.
In many ways, the standard now comes from twelve US Federal Reserve banks in paper form, printed with green ink.
But we're a global society now, with total worldwide trade taking up nearly $8T of the global product of $52T.
Is it time for a new global currency that isn't subject to the needs and politics of one nation?
More and more, the answer is "yes".
But getting there, as with anything international, is the hard part.
The standard of currency right now is the US Dollar.
This has been true since a month after D-Day, WW2, when the leaders of the developed world, sat down at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, and agreed how to win the peace.
From that day on, nearly all international trade has been priced in US Dollars.
That's not to say it's been a comfortable relationship.
In 1971 President Nixon responded to some monkeying around by the French, and some other nations, by pulling off the Dollar's convertibility into gold, backing the US end of the Bretton Woods agreement.
The world responded by largely ignoring the situation, and still using the Buck as the standard, as it is today.
Nevermind that the US can print as many as they want, and run up huge budget deficits.
Developing nations have been squawking about this relationship for a long time.
Malaysia has called for a return to gold for a long time, as have other predominantly Moslem nations.
The Quran defines gold as the only real money.
There are many plans out there for an international currency, some defined by gold, some by an international bank, but most as a basket of national currencies.
The closest we have to a truly international currency is what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calls "Special Drawing Rights" (SDR).
It's a basket of US Dollars, UK Pounds, Euros, and Japanese Yen set by the IMF according to some standard they set up.
It's not used much, but it has its appeal.
For an international currency, the first step is a basket like the IMF tried to define, but tied to trade.
And that' where we get to the total trade by currency.
It's a much more interesting way to weight the basket of currencies you might use.
After 60% of total, it falls off to small potatoes quickly.
But we should also define our currency with something valuable, like commodities.
The most traded commodities in order are oil, coffee, steel, cereal grains.
They could be used to make up another 30% of this currency.
Add in another 10% tied to gold, in order to hold value and satisfy the Moslems and Gold-Bugs, and we have an interesting world currency defined by trade.
I call it the Trade Weighted Exchange, or TWX (pronounced "Twix").
It's an idea that could very well be on the way soon as a replacement for the US Dollar standard.
Why would the US ever give up its position as the world standard currency?
For one thing, it's going to happen one day, so why not ease into it gradually?
For another, this would definitely lead to devaluation of the US Dollar, and help the US manufacturing base, causing some inflation in the process, but that is inevitable.
It would improve stability.
And as a non-inflating currency for a standard, there would be added pressure on governments around the world to keep their budgets in balance because it would be much harder to win a Currency War.
Is the world ready for the TWX, or something like it?
The answer is a strong "Yes".
It's all in how it gets defined.
Here's one idea, but there are many out there.
Have at it.