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Foreign Affairs: It is time to abandon dollar hegemony
Issuing the World's Reserve Currency Comes at Too High a Price
By Simon Tilford and Hans Kundnani
Foreign Affairs, New York
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
In the 1960s, French Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d'Estaing complained that the dominance of the U.S. dollar gave the United States an "exorbitant privilege" to borrow cheaply from the rest of the world and live beyond its means.
U.S. allies and adversaries alike have often echoed the gripe since. But the exorbitant privilege also entails exorbitant burdens that weigh on U.S. trade competitiveness and employment and that are likely to grow heavier and more destabilizing as the United States' share of the global economy shrinks.
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The benefits of dollar primacy accrue mainly to financial institutions and big businesses, but the costs are generally borne by workers. For this reason, continued dollar hegemony threatens to deepen inequality as well as political polarization in the United States.
Dollar hegemony isn't foreordained. For years, analysts have warned that China and other powers might decide to abandon the dollar and diversify their currency reserves for economic or strategic reasons. To date, there is little reason to think that global demand for dollars is drying up.
But there is another way the United States could lose its status as issuer of the world's dominant reserve currency: It could voluntarily abandon dollar hegemony because the domestic economic and political costs have grown too high. ...
... For the remainder of the essay:
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