WHAT’S NEXT: Doing The Global Currency Shuffle
By Brandon Smith Alt Market July 18, 2011 In mainstream financial circles, the concept of a global currency is often spoken of only with an atmosphere of caution. It is approached always in hypothetical terms. It is whispered of as some far off dream; a socio-economic moon landing in the far reaches of fiscal space. Perhaps in 2015, or 2020, or maybe 2050, but certainly never just over the horizon, or right around the corner posing as an innocuous trade asset created over 40 years ago and used only on rare occasions. Unfortunately, the development of a centralized global security representing the creation of a supranational economic body is much closer than many would care to admit… The most common argument made in the mainstream against a global currency taking shape is the argument that no other currency in the world today has the strength or widespread circulation necessary to replace the dollar as a primary reserve unit. This is true, if, you only look at separate currencies, and not the big picture. The reality is, central banks and the IMF have no intention of replacing one national currency with yet another national currency as the world reserve. What they DO intend to do, however, is replace the dollar with a basket of national currencies linked together and homogenized under a single unit. This has been openly announced by the IMF for months, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn even produced a press release explaining the plan (this was before he apparently watched ‘Maid in Manhattan’ 57 times in a row then allegedly tried to “romance” a cleaning lady, which of course landed him in court): http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2011/021011.htm The G20 has also raised discussion of a global currency and a greater oversight role for the IMF on a number of occasions: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/at-g20-kremlin-to-pitch-new-currency/375364.html http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Sarkozy-in-favour-of-an-international-currency-of-reference-21179.html A more in-depth look at the IMF plan for the SDR can be seen in a white paper released at the beginning of this year entitled “Enhancing International Monetary Stability – A Role For The SDR?”: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/010711.pdf A global currency, or at least the foundation for one, already exists in the form of “Special Drawing Rights” (SDR’s), created by the IMF in 1969 as paper collateral used to replace gold as the primary means of international trade between governments and central banks without the need for Forex exchanges. That is to say, the SDR was used as a tool for displacing the strength of gold. Today, the asset has morphed into a trade mechanism representing a basket of currencies, and, a tool to displace the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. Skeptics will argue that the SDR is a “long way” from being ready to unseat the dollar, but, these economists and pundits rarely consider that the financial circumstances of markets today could quickly change tomorrow. Yes, by the standards of this very moment, a move to elevate the SDR to reserve status is impractical, mainly, because the dollar is still clinging to its relative value and widespread use. This will not be the case for much longer. Over the past month, the “big three” ratings agencies; Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P, have suddenly decided to do the job they should have been doing years ago, and have begun a wild roller coaster ride of credit downgrades for countries with immense Debt-to-GDP ratios. Greece has been junked. Ireland has been junked. Portugal has been hit. Spain has been hit, and is ready for yet another downgrade. Italy is on the chopping block. Finally, even the U.S. is near losing its AAA status as S&P has announced it will decide within the next month whether a downgrade of our rating will soon be necessary. The most important aspect of the S&P announcement is their statement that the downgrade is NOT about the impending debt ceiling decision, but America’s overall creditworthiness and our lack of ability to maintain our current spending and inflationary habits. That is to say, even if the debt ceiling is raised, as all the Keynesians are clamoring for, we could still lose our top credit rating: http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2623832 This storm of downgrades after years of inaction by ratings agencies, in my view, is simply not a coincidence. The fact that Ben Bernanke has admitted that QE3 is on the table as well after the Fed denied any need for more stimulus only two months ago is also highly suspicious (though he tried to take back the statement later after a thorough grilling from Ron Paul): http://www.businessinsider.com/black-and-white-and-red-all-over-2011-7 The bottom line is that if the ceiling is raised, the Fed is ready to print the dollar into an early grave. If the ceiling is frozen in place, America defaults on its debts and its credit rating evaporates. Either way, the dollar will inevitably lose its world reserve status. Enter the SDR… What we are witnessing is a careful and deliberate “shuffle” of economic circumstances towards a financial and political environment more receptive to a global currency. Or, indeed, a public so desperate for stability as to have no other choice but a global currency. Here are some of the steps that will likely take place and in certain cases must take place before the SDR is able to fulfill the role the IMF intends. Many of these steps are already being implemented as this is written: 1) The IMF Must Increase Circulation Of SDR’s The normal restrictions on SDR printing were removed in 2008 by the IMF just as the credit crisis began to take shape under the guise of “producing more liquidity”. SDR’s can now be created in unlimited numbers. Allocations of SDR’s by IMF member countries leaped in 2008 to 2009. America’s holdings of SDR’s grew from 21 billion to 203 billion in the span of a single year: http://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/tad/extsdr1.aspx Using the “SDR Department”, the IMF has also been issuing SDR’s to emerging market countries and needy nations off the books, at the expense of the American taxpayer! Rich countries like the U.S. pay into the SDR Department program which is supposedly designed to redistribute “foreign aid” to poorer countries as low interest loans denominated in SDR’s. These loans show up nowhere on our Federal Budget: http://www.house.gov/jec/imf/sdrdept.pdf In 2004, the cost of paying into this program was around $5 Billion a year, but this has surely been expanded since. Finding accurate numbers on current U.S. loans through the hidden SDR Department program has proven difficult, to say the least… The point of all this? The SDR is being widely circulated under various operations, some of them public, some of them not so public. 2) Standardized Exchange Tables For The SDR Must Be Put In Place The IMF now releases daily conversion and exchange tables to SDR’s for almost every other currency on the planet: http://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/data/rms_five.aspx One important aspect of SDR conversion to take note of is that the currencies most highly valued on global forex markets, and the SDR table, are the Bahraini Dinar, and the Kuwaiti Dinar. The Bahraini Dinar is pegged directly to the SDR basket, while the Kuwaiti Dinar is pegged to “an undisclosed basket of currencies” (probably the SDR). The dollar, on the other hand, is relatively weak in comparison when converting to SDR’s, even though most of the IMF’s funding, and thus ability to create SDR’s, comes from the U.S. Doesn’t seem fair, does it…? Another important fact to remember is that the IMF admittedly sets the valuation of the SDR using factors outside of natural supply and demand. Meaning, they have the ability to place any value they please on the SDR versus other currencies. It is no surprise then that currencies which tie themselves to the IMF basket and placate IMF desires are rated strong in SDR’s, and perform well in forex markets, while the dollar, which remains (supposedly) independent, is weak versus SDR’s. Today, one dollar is worth 62 cents in SDR’s. 3) The SDR Must Be Made Indispensable To Global Markets The IMF has openly suggested that the SDR could be used as an intermediary asset in volatile currency markets through what is sometimes referred to as a “Substitution Account”. Meaning, if China, for example, wished to dump their holdings of U.S. dollars because they are devaluing rapidly, they could exchange those dollars for SDR’s instead of directly converting them into another standard currency, like Euros, or Yen. This, according to the IMF, would lessen the direct damage to the Dollar, because the SDR is partly denominated in dollars. Therefore, as China throws out dollars in exchange for SDR’s, the value of the American Greenback goes down, but conversely, the value of America’s SDR holdings will go up. This sounds like a brilliant strategy to offset sudden currency collapse. However, it is actually a very subversive way to slowly elevate the SDR as a world reserve currency itself, and to replace the dollar entirely, while the IMF plays the hero. It also allows the IMF to slowly “harmonize” all the world’s currencies until there is no distinction in their value. The SDR becomes a de facto reserve unit without officially overthrowing the dollar. If the U.S. is faced with the nightmare of having its own currency dumped by international central banks, obviously, our Treasury would jump at the chance to support conversion to the SDR to lessen the damage, rather than face the full brunt of losing our reserve status. In fact, the U.S. would have NO CHOICE but to support the SDR and the IMF as the intermediary in all global financial transactions, otherwise, we would face certain long term full spectrum collapse. The only support holding up our financial system would then be our membership in the SDR basket. We would become completely dependent, and the IMF would have total centralized control over our economy. What the IMF has done is create a potential environment in which any country that does not participate in SDR exchange will be left in the dust by every country that does. They have conjured an artificial economic matrix, where traditional laws of supply and demand no longer apply. A kind of “manipulated evolution” of finance. A chimera economy. They will have the power to determine the value of every currency on the planet arbitrarily using the SDR Substitution Account. 4) China Must Be Given Membership In The SDR Right now, it appears, the only thing holding the SDR back from its debut as a global currency asset is the inclusion of emerging markets into the IMF basket. Talk of China joining the basket in 2015 has been floating around for the past couple years. However, I believe that the inclusion of the Chinese Yuan may come much faster than this. New IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has offered China a greater role in the IMF power structure, including a post for Min Zhu, a Chinese national, as a deputy managing director: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/06/us-imf-lagarde-china-idUSTRE7655JM20110706 Lagarde and members of the G20 have also been pressing hard for the addition of the Yuan and perhaps other currencies into the SDR. A decision on Chinese inclusion may come as soon as this November: http://www.emergingmarkets.org/Article/2818350/G20-presses-for-yuan-SDR-inclusion.html http://english.capital.gr/News.asp?id=1163175 5) China Must Decouple Completely From The Dollar One of the points of contention over Chinese inclusion in the SDR is its ties to the U.S. dollar and economy. That is to say, China would first have to decouple from the dollar, before coupling to the SDR. Its sounds like some weird parasitic experiment, and, it is. China started taking steps to make decoupling from the U.S. and the dollar a reality back in 2005 (which suggests foreknowledge of collapse), when they began issuing Yuan denominated bonds (to circulate Yuan around the world), and, when they began converting away from an export based economy and towards a consumer based economy. The problem is that because of the wider circulation of Yuan, the increase in stimulus, and the Chinese refusal (so far) to allow faster currency appreciation, China is now in the midst of a double digit inflationary crisis (that’s REAL inflation folks, not fraudulent Chinese CPI numbers): http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7432861.html Because they have deliberately restructured towards a consumer based economy, eventually, China will have to allow the Yuan to increase substantially in value versus other currencies in order to amplify the buying power of its citizens. Otherwise, they will be crushed under the weight of rising prices: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/26/us-britain-china-idUSTRE75P1V120110626 This cannot be done without a considerable dump of their forex reserves and treasury holdings, most of which are composed of U.S. dollars and securities. This means that in order to counter inflation, and to be included in the SDR, China will have to liquidate a large portion of its U.S. holdings. This would strike the American economy hard. 6) The Dollar Must Be Removed As The World Reserve Currency All of the above factors are leading towards one obvious conclusion; the end of the dollar as a reserve currency. The IMF will never achieve its goal of complete centralized administration of the global economy without a common supranational currency unit. And, a supranational currency unit cannot exist while the dollar remains in its current position. Thus, for the IMF to succeed, the dollar must be removed. The expansive debt of the U.S., the endless fiat printing of the Federal Reserve, the Chinese adaptation away from the dollar and towards the SDR, and the quiet spread of the SDR itself, are all leading to this end. This does not mean, though, that the tangible version of the dollar will disappear. The interesting thing about the SDR con game is that many Americans may barely notice the transition of the global economy into IMF hands, because physical dollars will likely remain. We might feel the heartache of a devaluing monetary system, and an extremely weakened economy, but the flow of power will be obscured for a time from those who are unaware. In the end, all currencies will be tied to and completely reliant on the SDR, but our Greenback funny money will still be in our pockets. The issuance of an “SDR note” may come one day (if we allow this farce to continue), but it is not necessary. As long as every currency is required to be pegged to the SDR, the IMF will retain control. A common assumption is that changes like these take place in some distant future we will never witness, not right under our noses while we sleep. The current evidence suggests, though, that an engineered transference to a highly condensed global economic system is underway right now, and that our country will suffer greatly in the process. To understand the tactically implemented disaster we are about to experience, it is vital to become aware of the intended end result. Just as in understanding any criminal act, it is vital to first understand a criminal’s ultimate motive.
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