June 28th, 2011
By: Jack Farchy
The US dollar will lose its status as the global reserve currency over the next 25 years, according to a survey of central bank reserve managers who collectively control more than $8,000bn.
More than half the managers, who were polled by UBS, predicted that the dollar would be replaced by a portfolio of currencies within the next 25 years.
That marks a departure from previous years, when the central bank reserve managers have said the dollar would retain its status as the sole reserve currency.
UBS surveyed more than 80 central bank reserve managers, sovereign wealth funds and multilateral institutions with more than $8,000bn in assets at its annual seminar for sovereign institutions last week. The results were not weighted for assets under management.
The results are the latest sign of dissatisfaction with the dollar as a reserve currency, amid concerns over the US government’s inability to rein in spending and the Federal Reserve’s huge expansion of its balance sheet.
“Right now there is great concern out there around the financial trajectory that the US is on,” said Larry Hatheway, chief economist at UBS.
The US currency has slid 5 per cent so far this year, and is trading close to its lowest ever level against a basket of the world’s major currencies.
Holders of large reserves, most notably China, have been diversifying away from the dollar. In the first four months of this year, three quarters of the $200bn expansion in China’s foreign exchange reserves was invested in non-US dollar assets, Standard Chartered estimates.
The prediction of a multipolar currency world replacing the current dollar dominance chimes with the thinking of some leading policymakers.
Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, last year proposed a new monetary system involving a number of major global currencies, including the dollar, euro, yen, pound and renminbi.
The system should also make use of gold, Mr Zoellick added. The results of the UBS poll also point to a growing role for bullion, with 6 per cent of reserve managers surveyed saying the biggest change in their reserves over the next decade would be the addition of more gold. In contrast to previous years, none of the managers surveyed was intending to make significant sales of gold in the next decade.
Central banks have bought about 151 tonnes of gold so far this year, led by Russia and Mexico, according to the World Gold Council, and are on track to make their largest annual purchases of bullion since the collapse in 1971 of the Bretton Woods system, which pegged the value of the dollar to gold.
The reserve managers predicted that gold would be the best performing asset class over the next year, citing sovereign defaults as the chief risk to the global economy.
The yellow metal has risen 19.5 per cent in the past year to trade at about $1,500 a troy ounce on Monday, buoyed by the emergence of sovereign debt concerns in the US as well as eurozone debt woes.
June 10, 2010
The New York Times
By Sewell Chan
Mr. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, warned on Wednesday that “the federal budget appears to be on an unsustainable path,” but also recognized that an “exceptional increase” in the deficit had been necessary to ease the pain of recession.
In nearly two hours of questioning by the House Budget Committee, however, Mr. Bernanke gave potential succor to members of both parties, while refusing to side with either of them.
To Republicans, he offered warnings about the fiscal perils of an aging population and the potential threat of soaring long-term interest rates. To Democrats, he made it clear that persistently high unemployment was a drag on growth and said that additional short-term stimulus spending might be needed.
All the while, Mr. Bernanke refused to endorse any particular spending cuts or tax increases, or even specify the balance between the two. And he was not subtle about his strategy.
“I’m trying to avoid taking sides on this because it’s really up to Congress to make those decisions,” he told Representative Michael K. Simpson, Republican of Idaho.
“But we need your expertise on it,” Mr. Simpson pressed.
“Well, no,” Mr. Bernanke replied. “Plenty of people have that kind of expertise, including the Congressional Budget Office and others.”
June 10, 2010
By Shobhana Chandra
June 10 (Bloomberg) — More Americans than anticipated filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign firings remain elevated even as the economy is expanding.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to 456,000 in the week ended June 5, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 450,000 claims, according to the median forecast. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since 2008, while those getting extended payments climbed.
While payrolls rose for a fifth month in May, hiring by companies was less than forecast, underscoring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s comments yesterday that there will be “only a slow reduction” in the unemployment rate. Job gains are needed to spur consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, and ensure a sustained expansion.
“The labor market is not as healthy as it should be at this stage of the recovery,” said John Herrmann, senior fixed- income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston, who forecast claims at 453,000. “Hiring isn’t ramping up and this means there are downside risks to growth, income and consumption.”
The U.S. trade deficit widened in April to the highest level in more than a year as exports dropped more than imports, a report from the Commerce Department showed. The gap grew 0.6 percent to $40.3 billion, the most since December 2008.
October 12, 2009
By Aaron Task
Famed investor Jim Rogers is “quite sure gold will go over $2000 per ounce during this bull market.”
Rogers’ confidence gold will continue to rally stems from a view the U.S. dollar is on its way to losing status as the world’s reserve currency.
“Is it going to happen? Yes,” Rogers says. “I don’t like saying it [and] I’m extremely worried about it but we have to deal with the facts. America is not getting better [and] the dollar is going to be replaced just like pound sterling [was].”
Rogers didn’t offer a timetable, and it’s likely gold would exceed $2000 per ounce if the dollar were to lose its reserve status.
Still, “I wouldn’t buy gold today,” Rogers says. “I think I’ll make more money in other commodities, which are cheaper,” as discussed in more detail here.
Among many others, Rogers is “worried about the fact the U.S. government is printing huge amounts, spending gigantic amounts of money it doesn’t have,” the investor and author says. “People are very worried [and] skeptical about paper money [and] looking for places to protect themselves. The best way is to buy real assets. [That] has always protected one during currency turmoil, and it will again.”