SGC Book

"The Single Global Currency: Common Cents for the World"



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What's Been Said about the SGC by Governments


Governments

30 June 2005. 75th Annual Report of the Bank for International Settlements - notes that a single global currency might solve the world's financial imbalances.

In the "Conclusion, How might imbalances be fixed?"

   "....Several academics have suggested the establishment of a single international currency.  In the context of the impossible trinity, this would imply national authorities relinquishing domestic monetary control and moving away from still existing capital controls. A more realistic recommendation might be to have a small number of more formal currency blocs (say, based on the dollar, euro and renminbi/yen), but clearly they would have to float more freely against each other. Nor would such a system avoid the possibility of excessive capital flows, based on misguided optimism about one currency bloc or another, leading to disruptive exchange rate changes and associated international resource misallocations." (page 151).

12 November 2004.  "The Euro-Dollar Regime and the Role of the Yen: Their Impact on Asia"  speech by text by Toshihiko Fukui, Governor of Bank of Japan.

Excerpts....

    "Let me begin today by reiterating that the birth of the euro in 1999 was an epoch making event. It was an enormous task to say the least in the context of the international currency system. I remember the endless discussions leading up to January 1999, asking if the euro could or should be launched at all. There were even discussions on the potential breakup of the euro. The euro has come a long way since

then, and I am here speaking about an “euro-dollar regime.” 

   Today, we can discuss the euro's potential to bring a sea change to the global financial architecture, without being criticized for fantasizing. I should congratulate my colleagues at the European Central Bank for this significant achievement...

   ... Looking at a currency's function as the vehicle of international transactions, it would be most rational and economical if there were single global currency. There are obviously economies of scale and network externalities. On the other hand, from the perspective of a store of value, it would be desirable to diversify one's currency exposures."

[emphasis added by SGC]

2004, Paul Volcker calls for an "international currency"

former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told WorldNetDaily: "A new mechanism was needed for the world financial system" and that "in a globalized world, we should have an international currency."

[as reported in "Calling for a global currency" by Joan Veon in WorldNetDaily.com. 1 July 2005]

 

June 2002.  from Bundesbank Monthly Report: "Consequences of increasing capital flows for exchange for exchange rate policy observations and prospects worldwide" 

Excerpts...

    ...Exchange rate policy issues are at the centre of the ongoing debate on possible improvements to the way in

which the international monetary and financial system works....

   Greater monetary cooperation was also urged in view of those other countries which pursue a policy of fixed exchange rates against any of the key currencies.  The suggestions aimed at stabilising exchange rates between the main currencies

range from rather loose forms of monetary and foreign exchange policy cooperation to an agreement on target zones and even a

global monetary union.

 

11 June 2002.  "Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes in the Globalized World"  presentation by the Chair of a panel at the Bank of Estonia.

Excerpt....

    Calls for closer cooperation in monetary and exchange-rate policy between the major economic areas received a new boost when European monetary union was launched. The introduction of the euro gives justification to expectations of an accelerated development towards a tripolar world monetary system. There are fears that the lengthy process of assuming more and more of the functions of a key currency could lead to considerable instability on the foreign-exchange market. There are also fears that, because of the low level of openness of their real economies, the big three areas could allow the external value of their currencies to run wild, to the detriment of the smaller countries. Bearing that in mind, proposals to stabilise the G-3 exchange rates range from relatively loose cooperation in monetary and foreign-exchange policy to agreeing on exchange-rate target zones to - in the longer run - a global monetary union.

 

2001, June: Malaysian Prime Minister proposes Single Global Currency

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday proposed the creation of a single international currency that would anchor global trade.

The currency, in which banking reserves would be held, should belong "to no one country," Mahathir said in a speech here at the Future of Asia conference sponsored by Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.

"Rates of exchange should be based on this one currency which can be used for payment of all international trade," he said. "Earnings in this currency must be immediately deposited with a nation's central bank, and local currency issued for local transactions."

Mahathir stressed that currencies "must never be traded as commodities."

Devaluation of a local currency against the global currency should be decided by "a panel of central banks and the international bank," he said. "No country should dominate international finance and commerce."

Mahathir Proposes Single Global Currency, NikkeiNet, 9 June 2001

 

2001, March 13: U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, (Texas)

"There's nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency.... The effort in recent decades to unify government surveillance over all world trade and international financial transactions through the UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, ICC, the OECD, and the Bank of International Settlements can never substitute for a peaceful world based on true free trade, freedom of movement, a single but sound market currency, and voluntary contracts with private property rights.... The ultimate solution will only come with the rejection of fiat money worldwide, and a restoration of commodity money. Commodity money if voluntarily and universally accepted could give us a single world currency requiring no money managers, no manipulators orchestrating a man-made business cycle with rampant price inflation."

Congressional Record, 13 March 2001

 

31 January 2000.  "Toward a Single World Currency to Level the Playing Field "   by Paul Volcker, in the International Herald Tribune

Excerpts....

   "...In fact, if we are to have a truly globalized economy, a single world currency makes sense. That would be a world in which objectives of growth, economic efficiency and stability could be reconciled. Financial crises would not disappear, but they would not be so destructive for smaller countries as in recent years.  

    That is not a world I will live to see, but the underlying tendencies are in that direction...."
[The bolded phrase was the foundation of his nugget statement used with his permission by the Single Global Currency Association:  "A global economy requires a global currency."]

[Shortly thereafter, at a speech to an IMF panel in September, 2000, Robert Mundell said, "In an article in the New York Times in February of this year Paul Volcker said: 'A global economy requires a global currency'. I heartily endorse that statement. So I close my remarks by saying not just international monetary reform is not impossible, but that it is quite possible and I think that there is a chance that it might come about in the next decade. All it takes is monetary will."]

 

1999, 29 April, Alan Greenspan, Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors: "Currency Reserves and Debt"

"One way to address the issue of the management of foreign exchange reserves is to start with an economic system in which no reserves are required.
There are two: The first is the obvious case of a single world currency.  The second is a more useful starting point: a fully functioning, fully adhered to, floating rate world.

All requirements for foreign exchange in this idealized, I should say,
hypothetical, system could be met in real time in the marketplace at whatever exchange rate prevails. No foreign exchange reserves would be needed.

If markets are functioning effectively, exchange rates are merely another price to which decisionmakers - both public and private - need respond.  Risk-adjusted competitive rates of return on capital in all currencies would converge, and an optimized distribution of goods and services enhancing all nations' standard of living would evolve. "
Speech delivered to the World Bank Conference on Recent Trends in Reserve Management, Washington, D.C., April 29, 1999.


1999, A Report from the European Parliament

"THE FEASIBILITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL 'TOBIN TAX' "

"...SUMMARY:  Professor James Tobin first suggested a tax to "throw some sand in the wheels of speculation" in 1972. His proposal was for a charge of between 0.1% and 1% on the conversion of one currency into another. This would be too low to discourage long-term investment; but would represent a substantial annual rate on transactions which involved buying and selling a currency within a single day, week or month.

The tax would have three main purposes:

    to reduce exchange-rate volatility by reducing currency speculation;     

    to raise revenue for international organisations; and

    to make national economic policies less vulnerable to external shocks.

Fixed exchange rates.    Exchange-rate volatility can most obviously be eliminated by eliminating exchange rates themselves. Within the European Union, precisely this is being achieved through Economic and Monetary Union.

Failing the creation of a single global currency, volatility may also be reduced through systems of fixed exchange rates and currency boards; or - more modestly - by fixed margins of fluctuation, as in the case of the EMS Exchange Rate Mechanism. However, there is always the danger that anything short of full currency union will only reduce short-term volatility at the price of increasing disguised disequilibrium. This, in turn, can then lead to eventual large, forced and "chaotic" realignments - as was notoriously the case in September 1992 in relation to the ERM. " Attempts to peg the exchange rate can be defeated...by rational and self-fulfilling attacks "(9).

(Economic Affairs Series, ECON 107 EN (PE 168.215) - March 1999)

[original manuscript] completed in March 1998]

1999, U.S. Dept of the Treasury

"THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM" TREASURY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS EDWIN M. TRUMAN REMARKS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL MONETARY AFFAIRS EIGHTH SYMPOSIUM TOKYO, JAPAN

My remarks are organized in two parts. First, I offer some general comments on several aspects of currency arrangements. I follow with some observations on three features of the international financial system in the 21st century: the currency system, capital flows, and responsibilities of authorities in the major economies.

Currency Arrangements

A Common Global Currency

Many believe that a common global currency is the most attractive monetary arrangement from a global perspective; some wistfully identify such a regime with the 19th century gold standard. Under such a regime, foreign-currency transaction costs would be eliminated, foreign exchange crises would be a thing of the past, and a single money and capital market would allocate efficiently a global pool of savings to achieve maximum expected returns. To obtain the full promised potential from such a regime, wages and prices would have to be flexible, labor and capital would have to be mobile, and the scope for governmental intervention in the economy would have to be extensively circumscribed so that automatic mechanisms could be unleashed to adjust to changes in national economic and financial circumstances, for example, wages and prices (and, thus, real wages and relative prices) potentially would need to be free to decline and rise.

In the absence of those conditions, changes in global economic and financial circumstances in particular, shocks with differential impacts on national economies would be likely to lead to governmental intervention, at a minimum, to short-circuit the global systems automatic-Adjustment mechanisms. For example, governments would be tempted either to cushion the downward adjustment of wages and prices or to cushion the impact on employment and output of insufficient flexibility in wages and prices. Moreover, if the common currency were to be issued by a global monetary authority, it would be necessary to reach agreement on the objectives and political accountability of that authority. Finally, unless the monetary regime were accompanied by an approach to the global financial system with no public safety net, multi-national agreement would also be required on the supervision and regulation of that system. At the national level, the scope to provide lender-of-last-resort support to the financial sector would be very limited.

Although I can imagine convergence toward such a monetary regime at some point in the 21st century, I doubt it is a realistic possibility in the next few decades.

U.S. Treasury Press Release, 6 December 1999.

1998.  Federal Reserve Bank of New York, "All About... The Foreign Exchange Market in the United States"

While not an endorsement of the single global currency, this educational document's statement of the obvious seeme worth posting here:

   In a universe with a single currency, there would be no foreign exchange market, no foreign exchange rates, no foreign exchange. But in our world of mainly national currencies, the foreign exchange market plays the indispensable role of providing the essential machinery for making payments across borders, transferring funds and purchasing power from one currency to another, and determining that singularly important price, the exchange rate.

 

1994 United Nations Development Programme.

"A permanent single currency, as among the 50 states of the American union, would escape all this turbulence. The United States example shows that a currency union works to great advantage when sustained not only by centralized monetary authorities but also by other common institutions. In the absence of such institutions, an irrevocable unique world currency is many decades off. Human Development Report, page 40 (This section perhaps written by James Tobin, as inferred from article by Myron Frankman, from which a paragraph is presented in Academics and Economists)