The decline of the dollar, symbol of US global hegemony for the best part of a century, may have become so entrenched that some experts now fear it is irreversible.
After months of huge and sustained turmoil on the money markets, lack of confidence in the world’s totemic currency has become so widespread that an increasing number of international traders are transferring their wealth to stronger currencies such as the euro, which recently hit its highest level against the dollar.
“An American businessman over here who is given the choice would take anything but the dollar,” David Buik of Cantor Index said yesterday. “I would want to be paid in yen, and if not yen then the euro or sterling.” [complete article]
A rare meeting of the heads of state of the OPEC countries ended here today on a political note, with two leaders — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran — blaming the weakness of the United States dollar for high oil prices.
Despite the best efforts of the host country, Saudi Arabia, to steer the meeting away from politics and promote OPEC’s environmental concerns, the leaders of Venezuela and Iran let loose some show-stealing statements.
“The dollar is in free fall, everyone should be worried about it,” Mr. Chávez told reporters here. “The fall of the dollar is not the fall of the dollar — it’s the fall of the American empire.”
During a news conference after the meeting, Mr. Ahmadinejad added: “The U.S. dollar has no economic value.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad said that oil, which was hovering last week at close to $100 a barrel, was being sold currently for a “paltry sum.” And Mr. Chávez predicted that prices would rise to $200 a barrel if the United States were “crazy enough” to strike at Iran, or even at his own country. [complete article]
See also, Dollar continues near record lows (BBC).