Experts see demise of dollar as world currency

HSBC lays foundation for RMB-based trade

US dollar bill

The diminishing role of the US in the global economy may lead to its fall as being the world’s reserve currency, according to economists at a forum during the 45th ADB annual meeting in Manila on Thursday, May 3, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ Rodrigo ARANGUA

It may only be a matter of time before the US dollar gets replaced as the main currency in international trade, according to economists attending the meeting of the board of governors of the Asian Development Bank.

For many years, the dollar “has been almost the sole ‘reserve’ currency,” banked on by the world economy, American economist Jeffrey Sachs said Thursday in one of the forums held during the ADB annual event. “Going forward, [the dollar] can’t play that role anymore.”

Sachs added that he could not see how the US dollar could remain as the world’s reserve currency when “the role of the United States in the global economy is diminishing.”

Several finance experts echoed Sachs’ sentiment, explaining that, with the greenback expected to weaken further, the world should turn to another currency to facilitate international trade and other commercial transactions.

“Having another reserve currency other than the US dollar is only a matter of time. We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but it will,” Neeraj Swaroop of Standard Chartered Bank said in an interview at the sidelines of the ADB meeting.

In the area of merchandise trading, Swaroop said, countries have actually started to use currencies other than the US dollar.

Sachs also said that some countries could turn to more than one currency in maintaining their foreign exchange reserves.

One currency being considered is the Chinese renminbi (RMB) which, according to HSBC, will inevitably become an international reserve currency.

The renminbi, or the yuan, has the potential to become an international reserve currency because China is continuing to post strong growth, becoming an important player in the global economy, Iwan Azis, ADB head for regional integration, said in the same forum.

Also, China is pushing to make the yuan the world’s reserve currency—a move that is seen to hasten the replacement of the US dollar, Azis added.

Already, British banking giant HSBC has mapped out a strategy to be a leading global player in the “renminbi banking” space.

This global strategy has filtered into the Philippine market with the bank’s introduction of RMB-denominated deposit and trade financing facilities, top HSBC officials said in a press briefing Thursday.

Spencer Lake of HSBC said the renminbi was increasingly becoming an important currency from a trade perspective.

Lake is in town as head of the HSBC delegation to the ADB event.

“If it were freely convertible today, it will be the second-largest currency in the world,” Lake said, noting that China has started to liberalize currency systems.

“It’s part of our core strategy to adopt and put in place all of the infrastructure and products to embrace [the renminbi] as a future reserve currency,” Lake said.

Lake said the bank’s strategy appeared to be gaining ground as indicated by a “significant” buildup of the RMB business in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries.

“The world is getting ready to adopt it as a world currency,” he said. “You’ll see it as a more common language.”

“Reserve” currency, which is currently used to describe the US dollar, is the denomination that accounts for bulk of the foreign exchange reserves of most countries. A country taps its foreign exchange reserves whenever it needs to pay off the costs of imported products and debts to foreign creditors.

After the United States fell into a recession in 2009, the US dollar began to weaken against emerging-market currencies.

The trouble with hanging on to the dollar as the main reserve currency is that it is prone to depreciation given the prevailing economic troubles of the United States. Depreciation of the US dollar, in turn, may lead to a reduction in the value of a country’s foreign reserves, experts said.

Apart from the yuan, Sachs said other viable currencies that could replace the US dollar were the euro and the Japanese yen.

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  • Vernon UK London

    Iboycott ang yuan….simple.

  • dgboy

    country of copycats can never lead the world

  • joeldcndcn

    miss dumlao could be misinformed, the US gold reserve at forth worth is the largest in the world, now analyze that, miss dumlao, he, he, he! canada is fast growing up against major economy, and the EURO dollar is up and down, with communist china’s “pirated” currency, who will trust it, HA, HA, HA! the only currency that carries the motto: IN GOD WE TRUST is the US dollar, you can’t bring down God, can YOU?


    “Apart from the yuan, Sachs said other viable currencies that could replace the US dollar were the euro and the Japanese yen.”  Aaaaaaand this article just lost its credibility.

  • asarin

    pag nangyari yan… mapupunta na talaga ang scarborough shaol sa kanila, tapos ang spratlys, tapos ang palawan, tapos ang buong pilipinas! mga walang hiyang intsik kayo! ayoko! ayoko! basta ayoko sa mga mapang-aping, mapag kamkam na mga intsik!

  • Jao Romero

    ang reserves ng bansa natin ay nasa dolyares pa. dapat mag hedge na tayo at unti-unting mag stock ng yuan. alam ko, dati, euro ang ini-stock ng BSP pero ngayong bumagsak na rin ang euro, kelangan na nating mag lean away from dollar and euro.

  • kolokoy32

    Sana mangyari na itong pagpapalit ng world currency… sobra nang mangloko itong USA… gasto sila ng gasto, utang ng utang na wala namang planong bayaran… kalain mo sobra-sobra kung gumasto ang mga Kano… puro pala utang lahat…. kala mo kung sino magmayabang mga ito.. baon naman pala sa utang… bisitahin nyo itong web site na ito nang malaman nyo gaano kalaki utang ng bawat kano…. www . usdebtclock . org….

    • Payutenyo

      hindi naman binabayaran ang utang e…ginagawa lang nla e pinapalago lang yung ekonomya para lumiit ang percentage ng utang vis a vis gdp/gnp

  • murtson

    The world now knows that the US can’t pay their federal debts, the largest in the world. America is not building its economy but instead relies on borrowing to continue her excessive government spending beyond her means. The trillion dollars debt from China almost defaulted. Now her taxpayers are burdened by just the servicing. 
    America is doomed if she continues with the way the liberals are manipulating the economy and the taxpayers. Reliant on cheap Chinese products, the trade deficit grows and joblessness continues. Obama would be happy to continue bringing America down for another four years if the gullible voters desires so. lol. 

  • tadasolo

    The Chinese are benefiting tremendously with the US dollars. The two way trade between USA and China is so lopsided and favors the Chinese by over 200 billion dollars. There is not incentive for the Chinese to remove this imbalance as it will affect their economy more. Most of the products sold to the USA are sure made in China but by USA multi-national corporations and could easily moved back to USA if they can be made cheaper in USA. The Chinese knows and that is one big reason they support their YUAN on a fixed rate with the Dollar and do not float it by buying all the open market dollars and are currently holding 1 trillion US dollars. World reserve currencies should be encourage other than the dollar and should include all with powerful economies including China, Europe, Japan and Brazil

  • delpillar

    Let the YUAN becomes an international currency.
    Mawawala ang control ng Communist Party of China sa exchange rate nito kapag naging international currency sya.

    Sa ngayon (actually ever since pa) ay manipulated masyado ang exhange rate ng YUAN para magmukhang mura ang Chinese products sa buong mundo. Purposely nipapa-depreciate ng Communist Party ang YUAN against almost all currencies of the world.

    Before naging international currency ang Japanese YEN nung 1970s ay 360 Yen per US DOllar ang palit. Nung peak ng Japanese economy in 1988 ay 144Yen to dollar. Ngayon ay 81 Yen to dollar.

    Ang ibig sabihin nito ay mahirap macontrol ng isang gobyerno ang currency kapag malawakang gingamit sya sa international trade sa buong mundo.

    • Jonathan


      • kolokoy32

        nakikita mo lang kasi na product ng China ay yung nabibili mo sa Baclaran at Divisoria… there is more than just that…. di mo ba alam na ang US$ ay prang peke na rin kasi over valued na sya…. ang real value nang bawat isang dollar ay 20 cents nalang… pero dahil nakokontrol nila yun sa “mapanlinlang na paraan” kaya sya nanantili sa taas…. pag nagkataon na di na sya yung World Currency… lagot kayong mga kano… pati na lahat ng mga tao, kasama na pinoy na naka-nganga at sumasamba kay Uncle Sam…

      • Jonathan


      • dgboy

         eh yung sumasamba ka Mao, lagot din ba?

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