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Roubini: No Plausible Alternative to Dollar

Monday, 28 Sep 2009 08:00 AM

Former Clinton White House senior economist Nouriel Roubini opines that there is a global liquidity crisis, but since all “plausible alternatives” to the U.S. dollar lack liquidity, creditors like China and Japan are still willing to furnish financing for U.S. federal debt.

As the G-20 prepared to meet in Pittsburgh last week to discuss the global economy, Roubini wrote in Forbes that it is unlikely America’s creditors will raise many hackles for now.

“G-20 leaders will probably avoid making specific reference to individual currencies, and will particularly avoid references to the U.S. dollar,” Roubini wrote.

“A new plaza accord to support the dollar seems unlikely. Yet the most vocal U.S. creditors, like Russia and China, are likely to make only very muted calls for new reserve assets and fiscal consolidation in the U.S.”

Roubini indicates the airing of dollar solvency concerns by creditors back in June only increased market pressure on the U.S. dollar.

There may, however, be other steps creditors can take to protect their assets from reckless U.S. government spending.

“The increase in use of the IMF's special drawing right (SDR) through IMF bonds is one step. China and Japan, in particular, have continued to purchase U.S. government debt, lest their currencies appreciate. But should U.S. fiscal consolidation be delayed, these creditors might not be as willing to provide financing,” writes Roubini.

“For now, all plausible alternatives to the U.S. dollar lack liquidity and, in some cases, convertibility.”

Other G-20 countries are already going in a different direction. Germany, for example, is currently cutting its debt sales by 22 percent, or 17 billion euros.

The German government said this is “based on improved funding conditions and reduced borrowing requirements,” Bloomberg News reports.

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Former Clinton White House senior economist Nouriel Roubini opines that there is a global liquidity crisis, but since all “plausible alternatives” to the U.S. dollar lack liquidity, creditors like China and Japan are still willing to furnish financing for U.S. federal debt....
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