The US dollar has been used as the international currency for the majority of international trade. Around 85% of foreign-exchange transactions are trades between US dollars and other currencies. As the first article below, from the Wall St Journal, states:
When a South Korean wine wholesaler wants to import Chilean cabernet, the Korean importer buys US dollars, not pesos, with which to pay the Chilean exporter. Indeed, the dollar is virtually the exclusive vehicle for foreign-exchange transactions between Chile and Korea, despite the fact that less than 20% of the merchandise trade of both countries is with the US.
… The dollar is the currency of denomination of half of all international debt securities. More than 60% of the foreign reserves of central banks and governments are in dollars.
But things are gradually changing as countries increasingly by-pass the dollar. Several countries have reached agreements with China to allow companies to exchange their currencies directly in so-called ‘currency swap‘ arrangements (see also). These include Japan, Australia, the UK, France/the eurozone, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Chile and Russia. But while these currency swap arrangements apply to current account transactions, there are still considerable controls of currency movements on China’s capital and financial accounts.
So what will be the implications for the USA and for China? What will be the impact on currency and bonds markets? The following articles explore the issues.
Why the Dollar’s Reign Is Near an End Wall Street Journal, Barry Eichengreen (1/3/11)
Beijing Continues Inexorable Push for Internationalisation of the Renminbi iNVEZZ, Alice Young (22/4/13)
RMB: Advance of the renminbi Emerging Markets, Elliot Wilson (4/5/13)
China’s new leaders to quicken yuan reform, but caution remains Reuters, Kevin Yao and Heng Xie (7/5/13)
Japan, China to launch direct yen-yuan trade on June 1 Reuters, Tetsushi Kajimoto (29/5/12)
China and Japan to start direct yen-yuan trade in June BBC News (29/5/12)
BOE Plans to Sign Yuan Currency Swap Deal With China Bloomberg, Fergal O’Brien & Svenja O’Donnell (22/2/13)
Bank of England, PBOC close to RMB/GBP swap agreement Emerging Markets (22/2/13)
China and Brazil sign $30bn currency swap agreement BBC News (27/3/13)
China, Brazil sign trade, currency deal before BRICS summit Reuters, Agnieszka Flak and Marina Lopes (26/3/13)
Direct trading to boost global use of yuan China Daily, Wei Tian (10/4/13)
Paris vies to be yuan hub China Daily, Li Xiang (19/4/13)
France plans currency swap line with China: paper Reuters (12/4/13)
Yuan Replaces the Dollar in China’s Dealings With France, Britain, Australia, as the War-Debt Continues to Destroy US Currency Al-Jazeerah (6/5/13)
China Takes Another Stab At The Dollar, Launches Currency Swap Line With France ZeroHedge, Tyler Durden (13/4/13)
- What are the ‘three pillars’ that have supported the dollar’s dominance?
- What is changing in the global economy to undermine this dominance?
- What will be the impact on the US government and US companies?
- What steps has China taken to ‘internationalise’ the renminbi (denominated in yuan)?
- Is the role of the euro likely to increase or decrease as an internationally held and used currency?
- What dangers are there for investors in holding all their wealth in dollar-denominated assets?
- Why may the increasing internationalisation of the euro and renminbi lead to less volatility between them and the dollar?
- How will the growing internationalisation of the euro and renminbi benefit eurozone and Chinese banks and internationally trading companies?
- What more does China need to do before the renminbi can be regarded as a truly global currency?