New York: The US dollar is quickly losing its competitive edge and its status as the world’s main reserve currency in is jeopardy, said economist Nouriel Roubini, who had successfully predicted the global financial crisis of 2008.
In an article in Financial Times, Roubini said even though there is no currency yet which is capable of knocking the US dollar off its pedestal, but the greenback is rapidly losing its competitive advantage to the Chinese yuan.
‘De-dollarisation will accelerate’
Dubbed ‘Doctor Doom’ by Wall Street for his tendency toward grim predictions, Roubini said that considering the increased weaponisation of the dollar for national security purposes, and the growing geopolitical rivalry between the west and revisionist powers such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, some argue that “de-dollarisation will accelerate… In a world that will be increasingly divided into two geopolitical spheres of influence – namely those surrounding the US and China – it is likely that a bipolar…currency regime will eventually replace the unipolar one.”
What’s stopping yuan to be reserve currency?
Experts feel that the yuan cannot become a true reserve currency unless China lifts capital controls, accepts permanent current account deficits, and its currency’s exchange rate becomes more flexible.
However, Roubini says that such points are no longer valid, as Washington is actively undermining the allure of its currency with sanctions.
“Complete exchange rate flexibility and international capital mobility is not necessary in order for a country to achieve reserve currency status… And while China may have capital controls, the US has its own version that may reduce the appeal of dollar assets among foes and relative friends. These include financial sanctions against its rivals, restrictions to inward investment in many national security-sensitive sectors and firms, and even secondary sanctions against friends who violate the primary ones,” the economist said.
China stepping up yuan transactions
Roubini asserts that China has been increasing yuan transactions with its foreign partners. He said that the will likely continue, with more emerging market economies welcoming “the ability to trade oil in [yuan] and to hold a greater share of their reserves in the Chinese currency… given that they do a great deal more trade with China than the US.”
Roubini also said that latest technologies such as CBDCs, Alipay-like payment systems, swap lines between China and its partners and national analogs of the SWIFT messaging system, “will hasten the advent of a bipolar global monetary and financial system.”
“For all these reasons, the relative decline of the US dollar as the main reserve currency is likely to occur over the next decade. The intensifying geopolitical contest between Washington and Beijing will inevitably be felt in a bipolar global reserve currency regime as well,” Roubini said.
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