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Published On: Fri, Apr 18th, 2014

Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing: F. William Engdahl

TND Article Spotlight:  By F William Engdahl | will7

Washington’s decision to go for the military coup in Ukraine was intended to rupture the emerging cooperation between key Eurasian nations that ultimately would have isolated the power of US hegemony and opened the door for a genuine multi-polar world where peaceful cooperation replaced military threats and sole Superpower domination.

The very rich and powerful families who control the US military industry complex reacted by trying to revert to their tried strategy of re-activating a new Cold War that paints Russia as evil and tries to cripple or severely weaken her. Ultimately it was a stupid decision being implemented by very stupid people, who believe they are very smart.

One of the unintended consequences of their stupidity is the fact that because of the foolish US decision to impose economic sanctions on Russia over Crimea’s annexation, Washington has forced Moscow to react by selling Gazprom bonds not in the dollar market but rather in the fast-emerging Chinese Yuan. The US has just shot itself in the foot.

OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural-gas producer, plans to issue Chinese Yuan-denominated debt in the coming days. Because of Obama Administration sanction threats, the interest rate for Gazprom debt in dollars is rising dramatically while that of Yuan debt is falling, making it attractive to issue the Yuan debt.  But this is a decision that makes more than business sense. It accelerates a trend by Russia, China, Iran and other countries to abandon the US dollar as world central bank and trade reserve currency.

Wars with other countries’ money

The role of the US dollar as the world’s leading reserve currency is more than a status symbol. Since the creation of the Bretton Woods monetary order in 1944, the role of the dollar as reserve currency has been at the center of American power. After August 1971, when Nixon ended the convertibility of foreign-held dollars for US Federal Reserve gold stocks, the dollar has been a fiat currency whose relative value has fluctuated up and down.

Today, despite the worst economic depression in the USA since the 1930’s and despite three decades of US trade deficit, combined with a soaring Government debt that is now over 103% of GDP, the US Government is able to finance wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere because of the reserve currency role. Other trading nations like China or Russia who buy or sell dollar-priced
goods must have dollars for trade, so their central banks invest their trade surpluses into “safe” US Treasury bonds.

Ironically, that has in effect meant that the US has been able until recently to finance its foreign wars and trillion dollar military budget using Chinese, Russian and other nations’ dollars.

When the Euro threatened the reserve currency status of the dollar in 2010 as Washington ran annual trillion dollar+ budget deficits, the Chinese and others began buying bonds denominated in Euros instead to diversify their risk of a possible US default.

To prevent the emergence of the Euro, Washington launched a financial warfare operation using key Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and JP MorganChase together with the US-based credit rating agencies Standard & Poors and Moodys and the US Federal Reserve to prevent the shift to the Euro. It was called the “Greek Crisis.” The Euro fell and the dollar was suddenly “safe haven…”, for a while.

But other national central banks took notice that the dollar was losing its value, as Washington continued to print money without limit, in order to rescue the bankrupt Wall Street banks with what the Federal Reserve calls Quantitative Easing.

China, Russia and other major trading nations have quietly begun to develop alternatives to using the US dollar for their bilateral trade.

Dramatic shift in dollar role

A new report by the International Monetary Fund reveals a dramatic shift in the role of the US dollar as reserve currency. Some 23 countries today report holding Chinese Yuan as official reserves.

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