China and the Dollar

China is at it once again, to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency and they are bringing their pals, India and Russia to join in.

China will push reform of the international currency system to make it more diversified and reasonable, and to reduce excessive reliance on the current reserve currencies, the People's Bank of China said Friday.

"To avoid the shortcomings of sovereign credit currencies acting as reserve currencies, we need to create an ... international reserve currency that can maintain the long-term stability of its value," the PBOC said.

In its 2009 financial-stability report, the PBOC reiterated its call for the creation of a new international reserve currency based on Special Drawing Rights, a kind of synthetic currency created by the International Monetary Fund in the 1960s. Its value is determined by a basket of major currencies. Originally, the SDR was intended to serve as a shared currency for international reserves, though that aspect never really got off the ground. These days, the SDR is mainly used in the IMF's accounting for its transactions with member nations

China's central bank said in the annual report that under the proposal, the IMF should "manage part of the reserves of its members" and be reformed to increase the rights of emerging markets and developing countries.

Ahem, why is China even classified as an emerging market?

Economist Roubini:

With the revision of the SDR basket (so far including only dollar, euro, yen and pound) coming to the table next year it is clear that the Chinese will push for including the renminbi in the new SDR basket. And senior Brazilian policy sources suggest in private that, if the RMB is included in the SDR, so should the Brazilian Real as there is already a much deeper bond market for Real debt and as - unlike China - Brazil has a more liberalized capital account. And the Russians are now openly pushing for commodity currencies - the Canadian and Australian dollar but also the Ruble - to be included in the SDR basked. And the BRICs are on record pushing for the IMF to issue SDR denominated debt.

So the process that will lead - in the medium-long term - to a challenge of the US dollar as the major global reserve currency has started. The US creditors - the BRICs, the Gulf states and others - are becoming increasingly alarmed that the US will deal with its unsustainable fiscal path via inflation and debasement of the value of the dollar via depreciation. So they will not sit idly waiting for this to happen: they are already diversifying into gold, into resources (as China purchases mines and energy, mineral and commodity resources all over the world) and into shorter term maturity US Treasuries that have less market risk than longer term Treasuries. With two-thirds of US Treasuries, being held by non-residents and the average maturity of such government debt down to 4.5 years, the risk of a refinancing crisis and disorderly fall in the dollar will increase over time unless the US presents a credible plan for medium term fiscal consolidation.

Increasingly it is clear that unless such reduction in fiscal deficits occurs the incentive to continue monetizing them will increase. In the short run such massive monetization has not been inflationary as money velocity has collapsed and as the slack in goods and labor markets is still rapidly rising. But over time - late 2010 and 2011 - deflationary pressures will lead to an increase in expected inflation and then in actual inflation if monetization of persistently large fiscal deficits continues. Indeed some in the US argue that wiping out the real value of public debt and dealing with the private sector debt deflation through a bout of double digit inflation may be the most desirable way to reduce the overhang of public and private debt. While such arguments have many flaws as inflation will have serious collateral damage one cannot rule out that the US will use inflation and depreciation as a way out of its public and private debts. Greenspan's concerns about the long term inflationary effects of large US budget deficits - expressed today in a FT op-ed - go along the same lines. Thus, our creditors' nervousness about the eventual debasement of the US dollar has some increasing validity.

Some are predicting a 17% rise in dollar evaluation, while others are bemoaning the dark ages for the U.S. dollar.

China is now allowing the Yuan for trade settlements:

China will allow companies to use the yuan to settle cross-border trade and let them keep their entitlement to export tax rebates, seeking to reduce the reliance of importers and exporters on the U.S. dollar.

The People’s Bank of China will encourage banks to offer yuan settlement services from today, the bank said in the regulations published on its Web site. Transactions inside China will take place in Shanghai and four cities in southern Guangdong province, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen, while those outside China will occur in Hong Kong, Macau and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it said.

“It’s China’s first step to make the yuan global,” said Shi Lei, an analyst in Beijing at Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s largest foreign-currency trader. “It will protect exporters from swings in exchange rates and boost the yuan’s role in the world currency system.”

The yuan has strengthened 21 percent against the U.S. currency since a dollar peg was scrapped in 2005. China has limited the yuan’s advance in the past year as a stronger currency makes its goods less competitive overseas at a time when economic growth this year could slow to 7.2 percent from 9 percent in 2008, according to World Bank forecasts.

Currency Swaps

The People’s Bank of China has agreed to provide a total of 650 billion yuan ($95 billion) to Argentina, Belarus, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea through so-called currency- swaps to expand the yuan’s usage. China and Brazil in May began studying a proposal to move away from the dollar for trade settlement and use yuan and reais instead.

Malaysia’s government has been calling for reduced dependence on the dollar for “some years” and now that China is supporting yuan settlement it is worth considering, said Tan King Tai, an executive director at Pensonic Holdings Bhd., a manufacturer of household electrical appliances in the northern Malaysian state of Penang that sources parts from China.

“The dollar has become quite volatile and speculative in some ways,” he said. “If the yuan can be stable, it will help companies with their financial budgeting.”

The mixed messaging is astounding. Naked Capitalism has this post, China now says no change in currency, on June 28th. Yet on the 29th shows how Chinese Banks are an accident waiting to happen.

Note the IMF $500 Billion is actually a method to once again diversify from the U.S. dollar.

Even today we have almost a schizophrenic reporting on next months G-8 meeting with the below report claiming China will not request a new reserve currency debate all the while Reuters reports the opposite.

Meanwhile legislation which confronts China's currency manipulation never gets even a mention in the press.

 

Here is a way to beat back China. Simply do not buy their goods.

Meta: 

Comments