Droht das Ende der US-Dollar-­Dominanz?

Thema diese Woche im Podcast ist die Notwendigkeit für einen Reset des Finanzsystems. Eine Aussage meines Gesprächspartners Chris Watling: Der Bruch ist schon lange überfällig, die Geldordnung haben wir schon 50 Jahre, normalerweise ist nach 30 Jahren Schluss.

Dazu gehört auch die Frage nach der Zukunft des Dollars. Diese wird intensiv diskutiert. So auch in der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT):

  • “Billionaire US fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller delivered an apocalyptic warning earlier this month that the dollar could cease to be the predominant global reserve currency within 15 years. I can’t find any period in history where monetary and fiscal policy were this out of step with the economic circumstances,’ the chief executive of Duquesne Family Office declared.” – bto: Das ist nicht irgendwer, er ist eine Investmentlegende, der lange mit Soros erfolgreich gearbeitet hat – und mit ihm die Bank of England in die Knie gezwungen hat.
  • “The dollar has survived at least four decades-worth of predictions of its demise. Yet (…) Druckenmiller’s warning comes against the background of a longstanding retreat from the dollar as the world has moved gradually towards a multiple reserve currency system. (…) The IMF’s latest survey of official foreign exchange reserves shows that the share of US dollar reserves held by central banks fell to 59 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2020 — its lowest level in 25 years. This compares with a share of 71 per cent when the euro was launched in 1999.” – bto: Das ist aus europäischer Sicht kein Grund zum Jubeln. Der Anteil des Euros ist signifikant kleiner!
  • “(…) the US accounted for the majority of the industrial production of the non-Soviet world after the second world war. It thus made sense that the dollar was the principal unit in which exporters and importers invoiced and settled their trade, in which international loans were extended and in which central banks held their reserves. Today, with the US accounting for less than a quarter of global gross domestic product it makes less sense (…).” – bto: Das leuchtet durchaus ein.
  • “(…) the then French finance minister Giscard d’Estaing (accused) in the 1960s, of the ‘exorbitant privilege’ whereby the US government can borrow more cheaply because of the greater demand for its IOUs arising from the reserve currency role. Another aspect of the exorbitant privilege is that the Federal Reserve, with a mandate geared to purely domestic conditions, sets a monetary policy for the whole world which for many countries is less than optimal.” – bto: Und genau dies dürfte gerade in den USA erneut passieren.
  • “When it comes to reserve currency status there are huge advantages deriving from incumbency, partly from inertia but also from network effects. (…)  the leadership of the global economy does not change hands often. Most previous regimes changes, he says, whether in 15th century Venice, Amsterdam in the late 1700s or the UK in the 1940s, happened because of political turmoil usually involving devastating military conflicts.” – bto: was etwas anderes ist, als dass was ich mit Watling im Podcast bespreche. Allerdings wird es nötig sein, die Geldordnung zu reformieren, wenn die USA den Dollar als dominierende Währung halten wollen.
  • “(…) the biggest single peacetime threat to reserve currency status is economic and financial mismanagement. And with the Federal Reserve having abandoned its longstanding commitment to tightening policy in anticipation of inflation and President Joe Biden “going big” with fiscal policy, the fear that inflation could undermine the currency is mounting (….).” – bto: Andererseits ist die Sehnsucht nach Inflation in der Hoffnung ausgeprägt, so die Schulden zu entwerten.
  • “(…) the anti-inflationary credibility won at such high cost by the Fed over the past 40 years may now be in question, causing foreign investors to worry that the US will inflate away the value of their Treasury holdings.” – bto: Es sieht zumindest danach aus, mein nicht wenige.
  • “One of the most fundamental requirements of a reserve currency is that it is backed by a state that can provide safe assets to global investors. The US has done that for more than 100 years, with the US Treasury market offering the safest haven in the world in times of crisis and the most liquid securities — that is, the easiest to trade. Yet if the state pursues irresponsible policies those assets become less safe. The greatest potential threat to safety, as Summers implies, is inflation, which shrinks the real capital value of fixed interest investments.” – bto: Und wir wissen ja, dass es sehr eindeutige Interessen gibt, mit MMT in eine neue Ordnung einzutreten.
  • “The pandemic-induced turbulence in the Treasury market in March 2020 has raised important questions about the market’s liquidity. (…) from March 9 there was a disorderly flight from Treasury paper into cash. Analysis by the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements has shown that the dash for cash resulted substantially from forced selling by hedge funds that had borrowed heavily to profit from small differences in yield between cash Treasuries and the corresponding Treasury futures.” – bto: Es gab schon vor Corona im Herbst 2019 Spannungen am Repo-Markt in den USA. Dies deutet auf die grundlegende “Krankheit” des Systems hin, finde ich.
  • “In effect a feedback loop developed in which the inability of dealers to absorb sales led to further price declines, prompting more sales and leading to further price declines. Dealers responded by widening the bid-ask spreads they offered their clients on average by a factor of 13 in the first weeks of March. That should not have happened in what is usually termed the world’s deepest, most liquid government bond market.” – bto: Genau das ist ein Zeichen für die Instabilität des gesamten Finanzsystems.
  • “This erosion of safety was a reflection of structural changes in the Treasury market. (…) while growing federal deficits since the financial crisis of 2008 have caused the stock of marketable Treasuries to grow significantly, the balance sheets of the large banks that own the big primary dealers have not kept pace, partly because of tougher capital requirements introduced after the financial crisis. The gap has been filled by shadow banks such as hedge funds whose ability and readiness to provide liquidity in a crisis is limited.” – bto: Dies ist ein weiteres Beispiel dafür, wie falsche Regulierung krisenverstärkend wirkt statt dämpfend.
  • “In the event, the Fed rescued the Treasury market from extreme dysfunctionality by flooding it with liquidity and relaxing bank capital rules. Yet there remains a risk that the Fed’s morally hazardous interventions will ensure that bouts of illiquidity arrive with greater frequency and magnitude, given the historically high and growing ratio of federal debt to GDP and the ballooning stock of outstanding Treasury securities relative to the capacity of dealer balance sheets.” – bto: Auch das passt in das Bild: Die Handlungen der Notenbanken erhöhen die Anfälligkeit des Systems.
  • “Meantime, international capital appears to be giving Biden the benefit of the doubt. Given their security dependence on the US, big holders of dollar reserves such as Japan and South Korea are unlikely to dump the dollar. As for China, US Treasury data show that from August 2017 to October 2020 China’s holdings of US Treasury securities declined from $1.2tn to $1.05tn.” – bto: Angesichts der Aussichten für den Wert des Dollars und des Risikos von politischen Spannungen ist es rational, Geld anders anzulegen.
  • If the dollar has retained its hegemonic role thus far it is because reserve currency status is about relative not absolute advantages. (…) The chief difficulty with the euro has always been the lack of a government bond market capable of providing safe assets on a scale comparable with the US. Yet the response to the pandemic has finally pushed the bloc into moves to create a European Union recovery fund financed by commonly issued EU debt. Those moves are as yet tentative, but they suggest that the euro, currently making up 20 per cent of global reserves, could play an increasing role.” – bto: kein Wort zur Frage, ob der Euro politisch überleben kann.
  • “Beijing is committed to challenging the dollar and has actively encouraged the use of the renminbi in bilateral trade transactions. The Belt and Road Initiative provides new financing opportunities for the digital renminbi currently under development. (…) the People’s Bank of China has recognised that renminbi appreciation will help control inflation as well as foster a shift of focus away from external to domestic demand. A stronger renminbi will thus help the currency’s internationalisation because foreign investors will be rewarded.” – bto: Das ist denkbar, aber wie im Artikel ausgeführt wird, angesichts der Rolle des Staates in China nicht sicher.
  • “The wild card in this debate relates to digital currencies. (…) Mark Carney, while governor of the Bank of England, suggested in 2019 that technology has the potential to disrupt the network externalities — the benefits of using a currency that many others are using- that prevent the incumbent global reserve currency from being displaced. He speculated that a new synthetic hegemonic currency could be provided through a network of digital currencies issued by central banks. This would enable spillovers from shocks in the US through exchange rates and trade to become less synchronised across countries, while the dollar’s influence over global financial conditions might likewise decline.” – bto: Warum sollte das von den USA unterstützt werden? Ich glaube, sie tun das nicht.
  • “History tells us that it took just 10 years for the dollar to remove sterling from its reserve currency role. That reflected the devastation wrought on British economic and financial might by the first world war. (…) the threats to the dollar to watch are US fiscal profligacy and monetary debasement.” – bto: Und das würde auch den Anstoß geben für den Reset des Finanzsystems.

ft.com (Anmeldung erforderlich): „The demise of the dollar? Reserve currencies in the era of ‘going big’“, 25. Mai 2021