In his weekly column, Chris Hedges writes that Donald Trump has inflicted a mortal wound on the very foundation of America's economy, the world's acceptance of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.
The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, although Iran had abided by the agreement, and demand that European nations also withdraw or endure U.S. sanctions saw European nations defect and establish an alternative monetary exchange system that excludes the United States. Iran no longer accepts the dollar for oil on international markets and has replaced it with the euro, not a small factor in Washington’s deep animus to Teheran. Turkey is also abandoning the dollar. The U.S. demand that Germany and other European states halt the importation of Russian gas likewise saw the Europeans ignore Washington. China and Russia, traditionally antagonistic, are now working in tandem to free themselves from the dollar. Moscow has transferred $100 billion of its reserves into Chinese yuan, Japanese yen and euros. And, as ominously, foreign governments since 2014 are no longer storing their gold reserves in the United States or, as with Germany, removing them from the Federal Reserve. Germany has repatriated its 300 tons of gold ingots. The Netherlands repatriated its 100 tons.
...The dollar, because of astronomical government debt now at $21 trillion, a debt that will be augmented by Trump’s tax cuts costing the U.S. Treasury $1.5 trillion over the next decade, is becoming less and less trustworthy. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now more than 100 percent, a flashing red light for economists. Our massive trade deficit depends on selling treasury bonds abroad. Once those bonds decline in value and are no longer considered a stable investment, the dollar will suffer a huge devaluation. There are signs this process is underway. Central-bank reserves hold fewer dollars than they did in 2004. There are fewer SWIFT payments–the exchange for interbank fund transfers–in dollars than in 2015. Half of international trade is invoiced in dollars, although the U.S. share of international trade is only 10 percent.
“Ultimately, we will have reserve currencies other than the U.S. dollar,” the Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney announced last month.
$21 trillion is mind boggling: $21,000,000,000,000.
If you had a pile of money containing $1 million, there'd be 21 million of those piles.
What's the interest cost on that?
Imagine if the interest rate actually went up?
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