Hard times for the dollar and the MPC

Published 26.10.2018 23:26
Updated 27.10.2018 00:57

The U.S. dollar, which set its eye on dethroning the British pound from 1925 onward, by becoming the "new favorite of capitalism" of the Bretton Woods international monetary system in 1944 and managed to dominate 85 percent of currency reserves of the world's central banks, accounting for 77 percent of international currency reserves.

However, the last 12 years of the Cold War did no good for the dollar and in 1991, its weight in reserves had fallen to 46 percent. Then the end of the Cold War brought the U.S. to a position of the "only pole" in global economy-politics and this new unipolar world order was to be led by the "Empire of the Dollar." The U.S. managed to increase its weight in global reserves back up to 72 percent.

However, with the 2008 global financial crisis, the prestige of the dollar was shaken, and in 2012, its share in world central banks' reserves declined to 60.2 percent. Even though the share of the dollar in the reserves rose to 64.6 percent in 2014, it has again fallen down to 62.5 today. In other words, the Trump administration and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's trade and exchange wars and their use of the dollar as a "threat mechanism" has backfired.

The interest of the world's leading countries and investors to the U.S. Treasury's $20.5 trillion Treasury bonds – that were issued for federal state debts – has been halved in 2018 compared to the previous year. All the leading central banks in the world are quickly emptying the U.S. Treasury bonds in their reserves, after the U.S.' unacceptable trade and exchange rate warfare and its use of the dollar as a threat mechanism.

From the Central Bank of China to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), U.S. bonds are quickly being disposed of. For the period from 2019 to 2022, this situation could turn into such a spiral for the U.S. that it will not be able to find sufficient international clients to buy bonds in the name of financing the federal budget deficit climbing to $1.2 trillion.

Therefore, reputable American economists emphasize that the U.S. economy is facing risks in terms of public financing and recession. The CBRT's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), on the other hand, decided at yesterday's meeting to keep the policy rate constant, taking into account the global developments and inflation risk. Increasing the interest rate could have caused a stagflation risk, and lowering it could create have resulted in the disruption of perceptions. The CBRT may keep the policy rate constant for the next four months.

Global war against 'hard cash'

While the world's agenda is filled with many human tragedies, regional and global economic-political tensions, we do not neglect the articles that remind us of upcoming issues on the agenda of the lives of individuals over the next 10 years. One of them is the "war against hard cash" led by some of the world's leading countries.

There are three important reasons of this war: first, hard cash makes the fight against national and international organized crime and terrorist organizations more difficult. Second, cash facilitates the operations of the black market and underground economics. Third, even in the most developed economies of the world, hard cash eases the informal economy, and even if legal, allows economic and trade operations, which do not want to be taxed, to save money outside the system.

However nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who work on human rights are complaining that the measures to reduce the use hard cash may risk economic and social freedoms.

The details gathered by Visual Capitalist, a digital media company that shares interesting content with highly detailed tables, graphics and information at a global scale show that the volume of non-cash transactions from 2010 to 2015 increased by 50 percent and reached $426 billion. Well, if cash is still king, how are countries trying to shake the throne of the king?

Countries are determined to reduce the need for and use of "cash" by expanding online banking facilities, smart devices, mobile payments and encryption technologies. Having said that, from Australia to Singapore, from Venezuela to the U.S. to the Eurozone and even to India, countries are quickly taking their currencies with high denominations and nominal values out of circulation. France, Sweden and Greece have limited the size of cash transactions and reduced the number of ATMs in rural areas. On the other hand, South Korea aims to completely eliminate paper money by 2020. The point is that, we must not underestimate the possibility of entering the 100th year of Turkish Republic with regulations that will restrict the usage of paper money.

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