The international monetary system has been surprisingly resilient over the past two years, considering the size of pandemic and geopolitical shocks that hit markets during this period. Liquidity injections by the major central banks helped stabilize economic activity and avoid disruptions to capital flows or foreign exchange markets. Major exchange rates remained range-bound throughout most of the crisis, even if the dollar has appreciated sharply in recent months. Volatility is likely to pick up as monetary policy responds to high inflation, but there should be no doubt that the dollar-based monetary order has withstood a major test during the past two years.
This feat has been even more remarkable as the global security landscape has deteriorated in dramatic fashion, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought international tensions to a level not seen since the 1961 Cuban missile crisis. Moreover, while the dollar’s safe haven status remains firmly established, the center of global economic activity has been shifting east. Asia has become an economic powerhouse, and China is on course to become the world’s largest economy over the next few years. It is a natural question whether China will challenge the United States and Europe for global economic leadership, and whether the renminbi will appear as a leading, if not dominant, currency.
This paper argues that this is unlikely for the foreseeable future, in part because a larger global role for the renminbi would be inconsistent with the Chinese leadership’s current policy priorities. However, there is no room for complacency. With the post-World War II international order in gradual decline, the world could again reach a moment where unforeseen geopolitical events might lead to changes in long-held political and economic paradigms. The United States and Europe can reduce this risk by making their growth models more robust and sustainable. Moreover, keeping their global alliances intact could prevent a loss of influence that has heralded changes in the international monetary system in the past.
Econographics Jun 17, 2022
The Fed has regained the initiative, but at a cost
By Hung Tran
The Fed may well have been right in taking forceful actions now to fight inflation after failing to control it, but such actions add to the challenges experienced by economies around the world.
EconoGraphics May 9, 2022
Deploying QT – The Fed readies its new tool to fight inflation
By Ole Moehr
June 1 onwards, the Fed will begin to reduce the size of its balance sheet, i.e., conduct quantitative tightening. But how does QT work, what are its goals, and are there potential risks of the policy?
Econographics Apr 20, 2022
China to roll out its version of quantitative easing
By Hung Tran
China’s new Financial Stability Law creates a new framework for furthering financial stability in the country. This has implications for the United States, which is undergoing fiscal tightening, as well as emerging markets, where portfolio capital has begun flowing outward.
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