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Calls rise for new global currency

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Barrie McKenna and Andy Hoffman
Globe and Mail
Thursday, Nov 19th, 2009

Tensions over two of the world’s major currencies are escalating, playing out in economic and political circles as countries make a desperate push for crucial trade dollars.

Visiting China, President Barack Obama said he wants the country to dismantle its currency peg to the U.S. dollar. But while the two countries bicker over the value of the yuan, momentum is building for a replacement for the world’s reserve currency.

But International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn says the days of one country’s currency as the global benchmark are numbered. The U.S. dollar remains the currency standard, but globalization demands a new global currency that provides representation for the growing importance of a variety of major economies, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said during a trip to China.

Increasing talk for a new global currency comes as friction mounts between the United States and China over the yuan, whose restrained value helps keep China’s exports competitively priced. During his visit to China, President Obama on Tuesday urged China to expose the yuan to market-oriented forces and let it rise.

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This article was posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 5:45 am

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