Thursday, August 21, 2014

US Dollar slowly losing its importance to rest of the world

The dollar is still going to be for some time the most important currency because I can travel with $1000 in cash or as I do, usually $10,000, and I can go into any shop, nightclub, bar, anywhere in the world, and pay with dollars. So it's still the accepted currency.

But increasingly, as world trade is more and more between emerging economies with each other. The world trade used to be, say 50 years ago, between the poor world, the emerging economies, the Europe and the US, and then it went up somewhere else. But nowadays more and more countries say – trade of China with Africa is now $200 billion. It's twice the size of trade between Africa and America. So over time, all this trade will be carried in other currencies than the US dollar. And the US policy makers and the incompetent people at the State Department managed to antagonize Mr. Putin with the Ukrainian uprising, which they supported. Now, this has backfired. Mr. Putin went and made a gas pipeline deal with China and the payments will not be settled in US dollars.

So gradually, yes, the importance of the US dollar is going to diminish as gradually the importance of the US economy – and I'm stressing this, relative to the rest of the world – is diminishing. In the '50s and the '60s the US was the dominant economy. It is still, according to their accounting methods, the largest economy but say car sales in China are as large as in the US and you have, of course, many more Internet users in China than in the US and there are many more computers in China than the US and so on. So in many sectors the US economy is no longer the largest. But all I'm saying is relative to the rest of the world, the US, in terms of military power and in terms of economic power, has lost out.