Der Dollar domi­niert noch lange

Morgen (06. August 2023) habe ich wie geschrieben, Philip Pilkington im Podcast zu Gast, der durchaus Risiken für die globale Rolle des US-Dollars sieht. Es gibt aber auch sehr überzeugende und gewichtige Stimmen, die genau ein solches Risiko nicht sehen. Dazu gehört der von mir sehr geschätzte Joachim Klement, der in seinem Blog vor einigen Monaten zu dem Thema Stellung genommen hat:

  • Every 12 to 18 months, the collapse of the US Dollar and the end of its hegemony in global trade is pronounced. Social media goes into overdrive debating how the Chinese Yuan is going to replace the Dollar, how China will sell its US Treasury holdings, sending the Dollar into a tailspin (…).bto: Das ist nicht genau die Argumentation von Zoltan Pozsar und Philip Pilkington, aber es geht in diese Richtung.
  • The most recent episode of the ‘Dollar is going to collapse’ story has been triggered earlier this year by an agreement between Brazil and China early this year that allows imports and exports to be cleared not just in Dollars and Euros, but also in Yuan. And if you believe the Cassandras of this world, this will mean that all trade between Brazil and China will from now on be done in Yuan, just like apparently all trade between Russia and China as well as Iran and China already happen in Yuan, not in Dollars or Euro.“ – bto: Ich glaube nicht, dass “alles” stimmt, aber sicherlich geht es in diese Richtung.
  • To start with, let’s remind ourselves that China has strict capital controls limiting both the inflow and outflow of Yuan. Hence, even if Brazilian exporters would accept Yuan, what are they going to do with it? They can’t use it domestically to pay their workers. They can’t convert it straight back into Real or other currencies because if they do, the volume of Yuan selling may hit capital restrictions and Chinese banks will simply be forced to refuse the cash. And they probably don’t want to invest the Yuan in China, because they have no business interest there in the first place. So, why bother accepting the Yuan in the first place?“ – bto: Hier würden einige meinen, käme die Möglichkeit, sie in Gold zu wechseln hinzu. In der Tat ist die Frage berechtigt, was man mit den Yuan, die man erhält, machen soll.

Und selbst wenn, macht Klement klar, wäre das Volumen, das da gehandelt wird, im Verhältnis zum Dollarvolumen nicht spürbar. Einfach sehr klein.

  • Ok, but what about currency markets? After all, trading in Yuan is increasing rapidly and the share of FX trades that include the Yuan has almost doubled in the three years between 2019 and 2022. True, but incomplete. Because every FX trade requires two currencies, the current 7% market share of the Yuan in global FX markets just means that about 3.5% of all trades include the Yuan on one side of the trade or another. Meanwhile, the market share of the US Dollar is some 90%, unchanged for the last three decades. Over the last ten years, the trading volume in Yuan has grown by 15% p.a. At this rate (and I doubt this growth rate is sustainable in the long run, because of this reason) it would take until 2041 for trading volume in the Yuan to catch up with the US Dollar. If the growth rate averages a more reasonable 5% per year, it would take until 2075 for the Yuan trading volume to be about the same as the US Dollar. And even then, it doesn’t mean that the Dollar will collapse or be removed as the world’s reserve currency.bto: Auch das leuchtet ein. Aber was ist mit der Grenzbetrachtung? Spielt es keine Rolle mehr, wie sich etwas ändert und nicht nur das Niveau?

Dann kommt Klement zu dem Punkt, den ich noch nie ernst genommen habe:

  • Finally, there is the statement that China can tank both the Dollar and the Treasury market by simply selling their holdings of US Treasuries in the open market. I have called this the stupidest argument in economics…“ – bto: Ich würde das auch sagen, denn warum sollte China das tun?
  • Currently, China holds $849bn in US Treasuries (as of April 2023) and is the second largest foreign holder of US Treasuries. But the Fed alone holds more than $5,000bn in US Treasuries and can buy the full $849bn China might sell in no time should financial markets get into trouble. But most likely, the Fed wouldn’t even have to intervene too much since markets would hardly move even if China dumped all its holdings into the secondary market.“ – bto: Wobei es durchaus eine Wirkung hätte, wenn die Fed weiter in großem Umfang Staatsanleihen kauft. Es dürfte zumindest die Befürchtung wecken, es gäbe mehr Inflation.
  • In short, the death of the Dollar is something that people like to forecast, but anyone who has a grasp of basic maths will soon find out that when it comes to global currency markets, the Yuan is an also ran, roughly as important as the Australian Dollar or the Canadian Dollar and China’s power over the US Dollar or the Treasury market is non-existent.“ – bto: Das mag das entscheidende Argument sein. „Against Cassandras: The US Dollar“, 28. Juni 2023