The dollar's upward surge in recent months doesn't reflect fundamental strength in the currency, financial author/commentator L. Todd Wood told Newsmax TV.
The greenback has soared to a 12-year high against the euro and a seven-year peak against the yen this month.
"The dollar is strong right now, but that's only because it's the cleanest shirt in a dirty pile," Wood told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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"The dollar has been the world's reserve currency since the end of World War II, but that is rapidly changing. . . . Russia and especially China are trying to remove the dollar from their trade and from their investment in foreign exchange transactions."
China is acting through the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to replace the dollar with the yuan as the world's main reserve currency, Wood said.
It could happen. "They have the strength and the money," he said. "The question is whether people will want to put the majority of their assets into the Chinese currency."
There's a downside here. "They [China] still have the lack of a rule of law, they're still in totalitarian society. There's going to be a lot of fraud and corruption and criminal activity going on," Wood said.
Still, "right now they have more money than we do," Wood said. "They have the resources to do this." The dollar has gained 1.6 percent against the yuan since Oct. 31, trading at 6.2129 yuan late Wednesday afternoon.
Russia and China don't like the idea that they can be banned from the international payments system known as SWIFT, which is overseen by the Federal Reserve and nine other central banks, Wood said.
Russia is "setting up systems with China as well as Switzerland and others, swap lines so they can move currencies back and forth and just get out from under the dollar's thumb," Wood said.
In addition, there have been numerous attacks against our financial system, he notes.
"They are targeting this in a variety of ways," he said. "If they can remove demand from the dollar, our currency will be much more volatile and our economy will have many more problems than we've had over the decades because of our reserve currency status."
This is a legitimate concern for the United States, Wood said.
"We've given them an economic weapon, running up so much debt. All they have to do is force our interest rates to rise a few points and that's hundreds of billions of dollars of interest costs that we will have to pay and we don't have the money," he said.
"That's a problem we're going to have to deal with very soon."
U.S. government debt totals $18 billion, and the 10-year Treasury yield stood at 1.92 percent Wednesday afternoon.
L. Todd Wood is a former USAF special operations helicopter pilot. He flew for the 20th Special Operations Squadron and supported SEAL Team 6 and Delta Force in counterterrorism missions. His first novel, “Currency," deals with the geopolitical consequences of overwhelming sovereign debt. Wood writes for The New York Post, Fox Business, The Moscow Times, Breitbart, National Review, and Zero Hedge. He splits his time between New York and Moscow. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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