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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A global currency? Just check the horse this guy rides out on...
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

A global currency? Just check the horse this guy rides out on...

(this is an important article, and i'm going to devote some extra space to it here...)

the thought of a global currency presided over by our current crop of global monied elites chills me to my very core, to say nothing of the fact that this article was penned by a senior staffer of the council on foreign relations, one of the principal organizations serving those who already hold most of the world in thrall...

Over the past 25 years, devastating currency crises have hit countries across Latin America and Asia, as well as countries just beyond the borders of western Europe -- most notably Russia and Turkey.

it's interesting that he only refers to latin america in general rather than specifically pointing to argentina, the victim of the worst economic and currency implosion ever, a disaster certainly due in part to argentina's own imprudent policies, but even more so to its attempts to abide by the neoliberal dictates of the u.s., the imf, the world bank, and the global capitalist banking system... but, rather than acknowledging that fact, the author excoriates joseph stiglitz, a nobel prize winning economist, a member of former president clinton's economic advisory panel, and former chief economist for the world bank, who made a clear case for the trainwreck that neoliberal economic policies have wreaked on the developing world (see Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents)...
Antiglobalization economists have turned the problem on its head by absolving governments (except the one in Washington) and instead blaming crises on markets and their institutional supporters, such as the IMF -- "dictatorships of international finance," in the words of the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. "Countries are effectively told that if they don't follow certain conditions, the capital markets or the IMF will refuse to lend them money," writes Stiglitz. "They are basically forced to give up part of their sovereignty."

Is this right? Are markets failing, and will restoring lost sovereignty to governments put an end to financial instability? This is a dangerous misdiagnosis.

i can't speak to monetary sovereignty, but i can speak first-hand to the damage that neoliberal, "market-driven" policies, as pushed by the money and power-brokers of the first world, have caused, particularly in latin america and southeast europe...

so, what does this highly-credentialed pooh-bah think we should do...? why, leave it up to "those who know best" to continue holding on to the purse strings, of course...

The right course is not to return to a mythical past of monetary sovereignty, with governments controlling local interest and exchange rates in blissful ignorance of the rest of the world. Governments must let go of the fatal notion that nationhood requires them to make and control the money used in their territory. National currencies and global markets simply do not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency crises and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for damaging protectionism. In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies, the source of much of today's instability.

and what do you suppose is driving this noble idea of reducing world currencies to dollars, euros, or some other, as yet unborn, currency...? could it be this...?
Just a few decades ago, vital foreign investment in developing countries was driven by two main motivations: to extract raw materials for export and to gain access to local markets heavily protected against competition from imports.


This cozy scenario was undermined by the advent of globalization. Trade liberalization has opened up most developing countries to imports (in return for export access to developed countries), and huge declines in the costs of communication and transport have revolutionized the economics of global production and distribution. Accordingly, the reasons for foreign companies to invest in developing countries have changed. The desire to extract commodities remains, but companies generally no longer need to invest for the sake of gaining access to domestic markets. It is generally not necessary today to produce in a country in order to sell in it (except in large economies such as Brazil and China).

At the same time, globalization has produced a compelling new reason to invest in developing countries: to take advantage of lower production costs by integrating local facilities into global chains of production and distribution.


In a globalizing economy, monetary stability and access to sophisticated financial services are essential components of an attractive local investment climate. And in this regard, developing countries are especially poorly positioned.


[G]rowth today depends more and more on investment decisions funded and funneled through the global financial system. (Borrowing in low-cost yen to finance investments in Europe while hedging against the yen's rise on a U.S. futures exchange is no longer exotic.) Thus, unrestricted and efficient access to this global system -- rather than the ability of governments to manipulate parochial monetary policies -- has become essential for future economic development.

i hope you're following very carefully what this character is outlining here... i don't think it's stretching a point at all to say that he would like to see the very system that has given us the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and funneled massive amounts of cash to the already super-rich, extended across the globe without any inconvenient national governments standing in the way...

check out how he wraps everything up in a nice, neat package...

Since economic development outside the process of globalization is no longer possible, countries should abandon monetary nationalism. Governments should replace national currencies with the dollar or the euro or, in the case of Asia, collaborate to produce a new multinational currency over a comparably large and economically diversified area.

"...economic development outside the process of globalization is no longer possible..." mull that one over for a while, if you will...
Most of the world's smaller and poorer countries would clearly be best off unilaterally adopting the dollar or the euro, which would enable their safe and rapid integration into global financial markets. Latin American countries should dollarize; eastern European countries and Turkey, euroize.

ok, now for the truly hilarious conclusion... keep in mind that this article was written for the may/june 2007 edition of foreign affairs...
As for the United States, it needs to perpetuate the sound money policies of former Federal Reserve Chairs Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan and return to long-term fiscal discipline. This is the only sure way to keep the United States' foreign tailors, with their massive and growing holdings of dollar debt, feeling wealthy and secure. It is the market that made the dollar into global money -- and what the market giveth, the market can taketh away. If the tailors balk and the dollar fails, the market may privatize money on its own.


so much for all your erudition, you pompous asshole...

(thanks to casey at open your mind's eye...)

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