A BRICS Threat to the Dollar?
Perceived threats to the dollar’s role in the global financial system are nothing new; they have been a frequent occurrence since the 1980s. But until would-be challengers can find a credible alternative to the dollar for their own savings, the greenback’s dominance will not really be in doubt.
LONDON – Russia’s war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping’s recent meeting in Moscow, and China’s apparent success in brokering a diplomatic rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia have fueled renewed chatter about threats to the global primacy of the United States – and particularly to that of the US dollar.
I encountered such commentary in the responses to my recent Global Policy article assessing the future of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The group is now considering an enlargement that would bring in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, raising questions about its criteria for membership and the role of its own New Development Bank. But would a larger and more influential BRICS-Plus really create risks to the dollar?
Perceived threats to the dollar’s role in the global financial system are nothing new; they have been a frequent occurrence since I began my career in the 1980s. Obviously, if there comes a time when the US ceases to be the world’s largest economy, the dollar’s status will be called into question. The same was true of pound sterling in the first half of the twentieth century (though the pound was not knocked off its global perch until well after the United Kingdom had been surpassed economically).
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