Wednesday, June 25, 2008

when curencies become confetti

i'm convinced that we will someday have a single world currency. i'm pretty sure that this single currency won't be adopted through a smooth transition.

i kinda think the the USD may turn to confetti first.

the US has been taking on too much debt for too long and shows no sign of stopping. at every level, we overspend, national, state, city, and private budgets are all overloaded with debt. we keep inflation relatively low to make it easy to get more loans.

eventually, we may find ourselves in the position where our debts exceed our reasonable expectation of being able to pay them off. Germany faced this when they were loaded down with reparations debt after WWI. they responded in the only reasonable way: by turning their currency into confetti. and viola, their debts were gone.

i doubt the US will take such drastic measures, but i wonder if we aren't intentionally causing price inflation to help devalue some of our debts. because many of our national debts (social security, veteran's payments, treasuries) are dollar denominated or weakly adjusted for inflation (through CPI), devaluing the dollar is an effective way of reducing their real value. since a large fraction of the treasuries are held overseas, reducing their value doesn't even directly hurt americans.


Alex said...

Current exchange rate for USD to Zimbabwean dollars is 1:35 billion.

In addition to confetti, it's probably the cheapest way to insulate your house (except for the shipping charges).

morrisonbonpasse said...

You are correct that the world is moving toward a Single Global Currency.
The Single Global Currency Association promotes the implementation of a Single Global Currency, with a Global Central bank, by the year 2024. With the successful use of the euro and other common currencies, more and more people and organizations and nations are seeing the advantages of monetary unions. Our website is at
The Association recently published the 2008 Edition of my book, The Single Global Currency - Common Cents for the World. A copy of the 2007 edition is available at the Munchen personal archive at and on the Association's website.
The goal of 2024 is only 16 years away. If one looks at the world before the 2002 distribution of the euro to the people of the EMU, you would have seen in 1986 a Europe with a Soviet Union, an East Germany and a Berlin Wall. At that time, most Europeans would have scoffed at the idea of a new monetary union.
The benefits of a Single Global Currency include:
- Zero transaction costs to exchange currencies. Presently, $3.2 trillion is traded every trading day and all this trading and its associated costs, approximately $400 billion annually, can be eliminated.
- The end of currency fluctuations and currency speculation.
- The end of "Balance of Payments", "Current Account" and "global imbalances" problems for currency areas. There will, of course, still be trade and wealth inequalities, and more visibly; but they will not be compounded by the problem of foreign exchange transactions and reserve requirements. There would be no need for countries to maintain international reserves of other currencies.
- Zero manipulation by countries of their currencies, and thus no more need to cajole and jawbone any particular country or currency area about the value of its currency.
- Zero risk of national and regional currency crises such as occurred in the 1990's in Mexico, Argentina, Malaysia, South Korea and Russia.
- Minimal inflation, assuming that the future global central bank sets and achieves a low inflation rate, just as the European Central Bank has done. It's not clear that a zero inflation rate can be secured, as that would bring an economy perilously close to deflation and a deflation spiral, but certainly a low rate of inflation would be better for the world than the current rates.
- Worldwide asset values will increase by about $36 trillion due to the elimination of currency risk. Such an increase in asset values will cause annual worldwide GDP to increase by about $9 trillion.
- With no currrency risk, worldwide interest rates would be lower.
- With zero risk of currency failure and zero manipulation and minimal inflation, the Single Global Currency would satisfy the moral obligation that a stable currency should be considered as a fundamental human right, as is the right to own property. A Single Global Currency would be far more stable than the currencies presently used by billions of human beings
While all these benefits are expected upon the implementation of a Single Global Currency, considerable benefits will also come during the implementation processes which will see the reduction of national currencies as predicted and welcomed recently by Benn Steil in Foreign Affairs.
Of course, not all economists agree with the goal of a single global currency. For those who would label the single global currency utopian, we call their attention to the euro, which began as a plan only about 30 years ago. Who would have thought in the 1970's that Europe would not only adopt a common currency, but also that its member countries would discard their old currencies?
The single global currency might be an enlarged transformation of one of the current major currencies (dollar, euro, yen), perhaps with a new name such as "dey", "eartha", "geo","globo" or "worldo" or it might be a new currency with such a name. How we get to that point is, of course, a major challenge, but there are several possible routes. One is to continue the trend of creating and expanding regional monetary unions, and then combine those monetary unions into one. Another is for smaller countries to continue to "ize" their nations' legal tender, as in "dollarize" and "euroize", as has been done in El Salvador and Monaco. Compatible with all these and other routes is the need to convene an international monetary conference of nations, monetary unions and related organizations, and begin planning for the implementation of a single global currency.
Organizations such as the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements, and individual economists should begin to carefully research and write about the benefits claimed above for the Single Global Currency, and about the costs, too. When the vast benefits become better known, the people of the world will demand a Single Global Currency and ask why we have been burdened so long with the existing multicurrency system, which Robert Mundell describes as "absurd."
Morrison Bonpasse
Single Global Currency Assn.
Newcastle, Maine USA