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WSJ published an overview of things we've been highlighting in this thread for a while now. Gata posted a non-paywall bit of it here:

Will the U.S. dollar soon lose its status as the world's pre-eminent currency? The consensus is no—it's said that any move away from the dollar would take decades. This view is too complacent.

Developments in foreign-exchange markets during the past 18 months point toward dedollarization. Consider that Chinese "petroyuan" crude-oil futures, launched last year in Shanghai, now sit right behind Brent and West Texas Intermediate in trade volume. The world's central banks bought more gold last year than at any time since President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard in 1971. Markets recently learned that China added gold to its reserves for the fifth month in a row. Earlier this year, the U.K., France, and Germany created a new payment-processing system to permit payments to Iran. It will begin quietly with humanitarian aid, then move to other goods and services, potentially competing with the American-influenced Swift system.

More: http://gata.org/node/19093
Chinese press still sabre rattling over the sale of US Treasuries:
As American pundits and polls dismiss the idea that China would dump its massive holdings of US Treasury debt as retaliation against US tariffs, a contrarian view is emerging in Beijing that the government may use the securities as a “weapon of last resort."
... with Beijing vowing to fight "to the end" and the U.S. preparing to place a 25-percent tariff on a further $300 billion of Chinese imports, China may have "no choice but to sell" its U.S. Treasury holdings, according to some analysts and reports widely distributed on China's social media.

This would devalue U.S. bonds, causing yields to rise, potentially sharply. If China converted the dollar proceeds from its sale back into yuan, it would strengthen the Chinese currency against the U.S. dollar, potentially significantly.

However, one line of thinking is that because the trade war could remove the U.S. as a viable market for Chinese exports, a strengthening yuan against the dollar -- which would make Chinese goods more expensive for American buyers -- may be seen as an acceptable outcome by Chinese policymakers.

"This will happen only when China has no other option. It is a weapon of last resort," said David Chin, the founder of Basis Point Consulting. "If China is not exporting to the U.S. any more, then they do not need to have a weak yuan and strong dollar to encourage Americans to buy." ...

Trump is not stupid nor are the Chinese
theres a lot of hot air but both sides will be looking to avoid a slide into tit for tat with both sides losing big time

Selling US debt is a signal rather than a policy and stopping the flow of raw rare earths was always the plan, so China could make and sell the things that require these elements ...

I reckon world recession will be the real cause of pain and the 'trade war' a useful thing to blame.
According to the Malaysian PM, the proposed common currency could be used to settle imports and exports, but would not be used for domestic transactions.

“In the Far East, if you want to come together, we should start with a common trading currency, not to be used locally but for the purpose of settling of trade,” he said at the Nikkei Future of Asia conference in Tokyo. ...

So, exactly like SDRs, but backed by gold. :popcorn:
Well well... Looks like the USA is taking the threat of INSTEX seriously:
Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, signaled in a May 7 letter obtained by Bloomberg that Instex, the European vehicle to sustain trade with Tehran, and anyone associated with it could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect.
A senior official involved in the internal debate that led to the letter said the U.S. decided to issue the threat after concluding that European officials, who had earlier downplayed the significance of Instex in conversations with the Trump administration, were far more serious about it than they had initially let on.

I cant believe the stupidity of threatening exclusion from SWIFT ..........

once theyve blocked everyone from using SWIFT it gets easier and INSTEX gets a leg up

and the US$ becomes less relevant with every sanction / sanction threat.
Instex, a European payment system for barter-based trade with Iran designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions, is expected to be ready soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday, ahead of talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran.
“This is an instrument of a new kind, so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it,” Maas told reporters, pointing to the complexity of trying to install a totally new payments system.

“But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future.”

Even as plans are afoot to launch a digital rupee, India proposes to ban cryptocurrencies altogether, and a law is reportedly in the works that would make holding cryptocurrencies a crime that would put you in jail. RBI has already banned cryptocurrencies. This is myopic. India needs to be open to the possibility of using cryptocurrencies for international payments bypassing the dollar.
The US derives much power from the use of the dollar as the world’s principal currency for settling payments between countries. It can borrow as much it wants from the rest of the world and simply print dollar bills to repay the loans. Other countries cannot follow that example. That is bad enough.

Those were innocent times when the US merely profited from global seigniorage. Then, it started weaponising the dollar. The latest example is the Iran sanctions. If any entity transacts with any entity that has transacted with Iran, that is, even indirectly, that entity would be denied access to the dollar payment network.

No bank can afford to be cut off from access to the dollar. So, no bank would deal with anyone that deals with an entity on which the US has declared secondary sanctions. The dollar is a powerful weapon in the hands of the US that it can wield against anyone it wants to. ...


It didn't use to be polite to say such things out loud.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday he hoped a special trade channel set up with Iran would complete a first, limited transaction in the coming days.

Set up by France, Britain and Germany, Instex is a barter trade mechanism that aims to avoid direct financial transfers by offsetting balances between importers and exporters on the European side.
"We want Instex to enter into force in a few days, and I hope that we will be able to operate in a few days. I hope the first transaction will be completed in a few days," Le Maire told journalists at a meeting in Poland.


Very limited beginning, but if Iran doesn't screw the pooch (EU good will) over violations of the nuclear deal, it could grow in scope.
Russia has said it may join a European Union payment system aimed at salvaging the Iran nuclear deal if it is expanded to include oil purchases.
In a not-so-subtle reference to the United States, Vladimir Putin's spokesman on Thursday called Instex an “important initiative” to protect European companies from “illegal attempts by third countries to limit their activities”. He said Russia was watching to see how well it functioned.

“With consideration of the initial experience using this system when it is activated, we can't exclude our cooperation in this,” the spokesman said.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, however, complained on Wednesday that Instex was only covering deliveries of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid, “which aren't banned by the Americans anyway”.

To bolster Iran's economy and ensure the survival of the deal, Instex would need to facilitate oil exports as well, he said.
The EU has said it would welcome third countries to join Instex but is still deliberating over whether the system should include oil payments.


“We’ve been very clear that we expect U.S. sanctions to be adhered to,” Mnuchin said in response to questions from reporters on Thursday in France where he met with Group of Seven counterparts. “Whether it’s Iran or anyone else, if people want to participate in the dollar system people will be obligated to follow the U.S. sanctions.”

Nice overview of events from the last decade or so (most of which has been mentioned here):
Clearly gold is making a remarkable comeback to the world financial system. A new gold standard is being born without any formal decision. At least, that is how Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, an influential international business editor of The Telegraph, described the ongoing efforts by countries to lay their hands on physical gold: 'The world is moving step by step towards a de facto gold standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce this.'


It's interesting to note who published that article...
OMFIF is an independent forum for central banking, economic policy and public investment - a neutral platform for best practice in worldwide public-private sector exchanges.

With offices in London and Singapore, OMFIF focuses on global policy and investment themes relating to central banks, sovereign funds, pension funds, regulators and treasuries. Global Public Investors with investable assets of $33.8tn are at the heart of this network.

Membership offers insight through two complementary channels - Analysis and Meetings. Many OMFIF meetings, held under the OMFIF Rules, take place within central banks and other official institutions. OMFIF Analysis incorporates in-house expertise and specialists from public and private sector members.
Trade war between USA and China is shifting to a currency war. Initiate phase 2!

The yuan blew through the symbolic line of seven to the dollar for the first time since the global financial crisis, with the offshore rate in Hong Kong spiking to 7.07 in moves that stunned seasoned traders.

The calculated action by the People's Bank (PBoC) threatens to unleash a wave of deflation across the world and risks pushing East Asia and much of Europe into recession. It is certain to provoke a ferocious response from the White House.

Capital Economics said Beijing has taken the fateful step of "weaponising" its exchange rate and is digging in for a long struggle: "The fact that they have now stopped defending 7.00 against the dollar suggests that they have all but abandoned hopes for a trade deal with the U.S."

Commerzbank said China's decision to engineer such a sudden move in its tightly managed currency has far-reaching implications for the whole international system. "It looks like a tsunami is coming."
In case there was any doubt over the motive of today's action, the PBoC issued a statement linking the new rate to "unilateralism and trade protectionism measures and the imposition of tariff increases on China." Despite not naming the U.S., it clearly meant Mr. Trump's latest threat to impose 10 percent tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods in early September.

The PBoC vowed to keep the currency "fundamentally stable" but it is walking a fine line. Capital controls are tighter than they were during the currency scare of 2015-2016 -- when China was losing $100 billion of foreign exchange reserves a month -- but money is still leaking out. Confidence is increasingly fragile.

"The worry is that a break beyond 7 could send the Chinese currency into a vicious circle in which selling leads to more selling," said Ke Baili from Caixin.

Kyle Bass, a long-time China bear at Hayman Capital, said a "mass exodus" of capital is already underway as political protest in Hong Kong reaches crisis point and China's debt-driven growth model reaches the limits. "The collapse has just begun," he tweeted.

Most analysts say the move by the PBoC is a deliberate choice, but that is hardly more reassuring for investors. It means that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to risk a full-blown conflict with Washington on every economic front. Beijing has simultaneously ordered state bodies to halt purchases of all farm products from the U.S.
Capital Economics said the Chinese appear intent on neutralising Mr. Trump's tariffs by letting the currency slide pari passu, implying a devaluation of up to 10 percent. This means a parallel yuan devaluation against the rest of the world. It effectively exports trade stress to third countries and risks pushing much of East Asia into a deeper downturn.

The eurozone is also in the front line. Hans Redeker from Morgan Stanley said the euro is developing a new characteristic: it tends to strengthen during bouts of global stress. This reflects its role as surplus "funding currency" for worldwide capital flows.

In other words, the euro is starting to behave like the Japanese yen. Currency strength causes pro-cyclical tightening and deflationary pressures whenever there is trouble. This will cause deep alarm in Frankfurt.

China took steps to limit weakness in the yuan, providing some stability to global financial markets in the wake of Monday’s rout, and said it won’t depreciate the currency to be competitive.

The People’s Bank of China on Tuesday set the daily currency fixing stronger than analysts expected and announced the planned sale of yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong. The moves, which came after the U.S. labeled the country a currency manipulator, helped drive the yuan up 0.2% a day after it sank the most since 2015. The central bank also rejected the accusation it manipulates the yuan.


Investors should diversify away from the U.S. dollar and increase their exposure to other major currencies and gold, according to a report from JP Morgan.

In a recent market note, the bank stated that it sees the U.S. dollar losing its status as the world’s dominant currency, and consequently depreciating in value.

“There is nothing to suggest the dollar dominance should remain in perpetuity,” the note said. “In fact, the dominant international currency has changed many times throughout history going back thousands of years as the world’s economic center has shifted.”

In a recent market note, the bank stated that it sees the U.S. dollar losing its status as the world’s dominant currency, and consequently depreciating in value.

Isn't this what Trump wants ?
I'm not sure anyone really wants or fully understands what it means for the dollar to lose it's global reserve status. But yes, he is advocating for a weaker dollar to boost USA's exports.
Papua New Guinea wants to retain at least 30% of the gold it currently exports as it transforms its economy under a new government leadership, the country’s commerce minister said on Monday.

PNG was the world’s 14th largest gold producer in 2018, according to the World Gold Council. Its assets include the Porgera gold mine, majority controlled by a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp and Zijin Mining Group , which has a lease currently up for renewal.

PNG’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Wera Mori told an investor forum in Sydney that the resources-rich nation was developing policies to keep more of the commodities it produces in the country to improve its economy.

“We are in the process of developing the framework to retain at least 30% of our gold that we export every year,” Mori told an investment forum in Sydney.

Mori said that PNG would also consider pegging its currency, the kina, to gold, rather than the U.S. dollar.


Expect to hear news media promoting stories about PNG being a hub of terrorist activity if this comes to fruition. Sanctions or marines? Flip a coin I guess.
You would have thought that pols everywhere would have worked out what happens when you try anything that threatens the control system.

Perhaps they fall for some weasel words that have them thinking it will be good for them, like Saddam Hussein ..........
Renowned author, lawyer, economist and finance expert James “Jim” Rickards has forecast the US dollar will falter in the wake of a new financial crisis that may be closer to reality than people think.
He pointed out the world was completely “unprepared for the next crisis”, which will be far worse than the previous two.
Previous crises
With another financial crisis imminent, Mr Rickards posed the question: who is going to bail out the central banks?

“Your only alternatives are turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to basically bail out the world although that is a slow and difficult process.”

If the IMF did bail out the central banks, the process could take six months to a year.

Additionally, Mr Rickards said there were numerous other challenges to an IMF bail-out.

For an IMF bail-out to occur, it would require 85% approval from all member countries.

“If you have a 15% plus 1% blocking power vote then it doesn’t happen.”

He added that the US was the only country in the world with a 16% voting power.

However, he pointed out a small coalition such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations and Venezuela could collectively block any bail out action or put conditions on it.

More: https://smallcaps.com.au/jim-rickards-world-unprepared-next-financial-crisis-future-gold/

Full interview (49 minutes):

Rickards rehashes a lot of the same ideas that he has been saying for a while, but a couple of things stood out to me. He used to talk about a some loose plan amongst the Davos/G20 crowd to use SDRs (the IMF) to bail the world out in the next global systemic crisis. In this interview, he doesn't even mention SDRs and seems to be indicating that there will be a political power struggle within the IMF that will impair any efforts at a bail out.
While no mention of SDR's he finishes up speculating on ways around the need for US$ payments for international trade and how a blockchain ledger could record trade with gold the settling system and you would have to be invited to join the system .........
So, currency wars still raging and there are a lot of moving parts...

The ECB cut rates further into negative territory and the BoJ is expected to do the same. ...
The result of all this monetary madness by the ECB and BoJ is a rising US dollar.

Albert Edwards at Society General explains via email.

The consequence of continued aggressive easing by the BoJ and ECB is that the US dollar is seeing continued unwelcome strength. Unwelcome in the sense that the US is in effect, importing eurozone and Japanese deflation. I simply don't think this is sustainable much longer. Patience is wearing very thin at the White House at the Fed's lack of easing vigor and the impact this is having on the dollar. I expect President Trump to take matters into his own hands and respond with real aggression imposing tariffs on EU auto exports to the US and authorizing unlimited foreign exchange intervention to drive the dollar lower.

More: https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/econ...g-before-trump-reacts-HNsPmkuzCkS8eu5nPGX9Wg/

China, having let the yuan cross the once sacred red line of 7 per dollar, will allow its currency to fall further and may even risk U.S. anger by using it as a bargaining chip in already thorny trade talks, market participants believe.
But in contrast to past episodes of depreciation, sources within policy circles - as well as financial analysts - do not expect Beijing to hem in the yuan in a defined range this time.

“It is unlikely that policymakers will impose a level on themselves, having got the psychological seven out of the way,” said Frances Cheung, Asia strategist at Westpac Banking Corporation in Singapore.

“It took some effort to (do that)... while avoiding any big capital outflows and market swings, so it would be unwise to self-impose another level.”

Cheung expects the currency to end 2019 at 7.3.

That would be 2% lower than current levels ...

does that include all the counterfeit dollars that have been created and generally stay away from the US ?
I had not seen anything in the news pertaining to Russia's ruble based alternative to SWIFT in a long time. The last time I did see it discussed, it seemed to be something riddled with technical challenges and not ready for prime time.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has signed an agreement with Turkey on using national currencies in payments and settlements between the two countries, the Russian finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The agreement, signed on Oct. 4, is aimed at gradually switching to using the rouble and the lira in mutual settlements, the ministry said.

The agreement envisages connecting Turkish banks and companies to the Russian version of SWIFT payment system, while enhancing the infrastructure in Turkey that would allow using the Russian MIR cards, designed by Moscow as alternative to MasterCard and VISA.

Russia, China, and India have come up with a way to organize settlements in case of disconnection from the SWIFT system.

The domestic solution -- the central bank's financial message transfer system -- is planned to be linked with the Chinese and Indian payment infrastructure, two sources close to the regulator told Izvestia. Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma committee on the financial market, confirmed that the topic is being discussed with BRICS partners.

It is planned to create a backup infrastructure for payments between Russian organizations and their counterparties in India and China. We are talking about connecting settlement platforms using network gateways -- hardware and software systems, Izvestia's sources say.

For payments with China, it is supposed to link the Russian payments system with its counterpart in China -- the cross-border interbank payment system. India does not have a national solution for financial communication. So it is planned to combine the platform of the Russian central bank with the promising development of an independent Indian structure, a source in the financial market explained. ...



The United States on Friday asked foreign governments to submit detailed reports on humanitarian exports to Iran, a step observers said could have a chilling effect and cast a pall over European efforts to allow trade.

President Donald Trump's administration, which has cast Tehran's clerical regime as enemy number one, announced a new "humanitarian mechanism" which it said would help the Iranian people by facilitating "legitimate" trade.
US officials said the new mechanism will allow foreign governments and banks to reduce their risks by showing their transactions to Washington, which would certify they are in compliance with sanctions.
To seek certification, each institution will need to submit "substantial and unprecedented" information on a monthly basis, including all invoices and details on their customers -- including whether they appeared on any US, EU or UN blacklists in the previous five years.

Brian O'Toole, a senior Treasury Department adviser dealing with sanctions under former president Barack Obama, said the measure looked like it was aimed more at gathering intelligence than helping ordinary Iranians and expected many foreign banks would be unable to provide the level of detail required.
O'Toole, the former Treasury adviser, said that the measure also looked like it was aimed at countering INSTEX, a channel set up by European powers to skirt unilateral US sanctions.

"This is clearly saying -- okay, we told you INSTEX is bad, this is what you should use, never mind the invasion of US government sovereignty on you," he said.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a group of major emerging economies known as BRICS, back the idea of developing a common payment system, a Russian official said on Thursday.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said “increasing non-market risks of the global payment infrastructure” was behind the plan to integrate the group’s national payment systems.

Saw this bit from SputnikNews:
EU banking and government officials have, meanwhile, confirmed that as many as twenty European banks are seeking a pan-European payment system to effectively rival the US’ Visa and Mastercard, as well as technology monopolists like Google and PayPal.

The brand new Pan-European Payment System Initiative (PEPSI) is aimed at managing all forms of non-cash payments, with Carlo Bovero, responsible for Global Cards at BNP Paribas, noting there have been discussions involving an extensive range of banks across Europe on the issue.


Of course, I haven't seen anything about this reported in Western news media and I can't exactly take Russian news outlets at face value so I looked around and found:

Under the aegis of the ECB, several European banks want to undermine the American hegemony in the electronic means of payment by setting up a 100% European system. A project that bears the funny name of Pepsi, for pan european payment system initiative.
"In the long run, it is too dangerous to be dependent on the Americans, and tomorrow the Chinese, on a question as crucial as the means of payment," they say in Paris. Because yes, the European dependence of means of payment is a real political issue of sovereignty, that's why the ECB is leading this project. Among the banks participating in this discussion, we find BNP Paribas French side, but also Italian, German, Dutch, Belgian, Portuguese, or Spanish. ...


That's a translation from Europe1.fr, France's 5th largest radio station.

Twenty European banks are now working to create a Europe-wide payment system that could eventually allow the continent to bypass Visa, Mastercard and foreign technology giants.

The new Pan-European Payment System Initiative (PEPSI) is aimed at managing all forms of non-cash payments.

Carlo Bovero, in charge of Global Cards at BNP Paribas, referred to the project on Tuesday at a conference organised by the banking magazine, Revue Banque, noting that there have been discussions between banks that represent a large chunk of Europe.

The initiative stems from “positive injunctions” in 2017 from the European Central Bank (BCE) which, “worried about the sovereignty of payments, explained that it would view favourably an examination of the issue,” according to a French banking source close to the subject.

“PEPSI started out not as a technical initiative but a political one,” added the source, pointing to the dominance of Visa and Mastercard in Europe as well as the increasing influence of Chinese payment networks that also wish to tap into the market.


It looks like this is directed to public/commercial payment systems, but I would not be surprised at all if the working groups that design and build this thing end up paving the way for a bank payment clearing system (to rival SWIFT).
Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the Instex barter mechanism, ...

“As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex), France, Germany and the United Kingdom warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join Instex as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.
The addition of the six new members “further strengthens Instex and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” the joint statement said.


Instex has yet to facilitate a single trade. It's not clear if it ever will. But the more nations that commit to it, the harder it will be for the USA to cockblock it with hardball politics. For now at least, it seems like Europe is focused on the idea only for facilitating trade to bypass USA imposed sanctions on Iran. If it ever becomes a real thing facilitating trade, it has the potential to develop into a competitor to SWIFT.
I haven't been real diligent in recording here all the gold repatriation and purchasing news from various nations. Ten years ago (or so), this stuff was big news. It's becoming routine now...

Just this week, Poland’s government touted its economic might after completing the repatriation of 100 tons of the metal. Over in Hungary, anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been ramping up holdings of the safe-haven asset to boost the security of his reserves.
... Former Slovak Premier Robert Fico, who has a shot at returning to power, urges parliament to compel the central bank into bringing home gold stocks stored in the U.K.
... Poland has doubled its gold holdings in the past two years and now has the region’s biggest stockpile.

Hungary, though, has been an active buyer too. Gold reserves surged 10-fold last year, setting the clamor for the metal in the countries around it in motion.

Serbia’s strongman leader Aleksandar Vucic took note, ordering the central bank to boost reserves and prompting the purchase of nine tons in October. Vucic said last week that more should be bought because “we see in which direction the crisis in the world is moving.”
Romania had also sought to relocate some of its gold reserves from the U.K., but those plans were put on hold when the government behind them was ousted in October.

China’s decision to cut the weighting of the US dollar in a basket of foreign currencies used to determine the strength of the yuan will help Beijing’s long-term efforts to weaken the international dominance of the American currency, economists said.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), a unit of the Chinese central bank, trimmed the weighting of the US dollar on Wednesday to 21.59 per cent from 22.40 per cent in a key yuan exchange index to make it “more representative” of current trade conditions.
The move, which comes amid heightened trade tensions between China and the United States, will help Beijing’s long-term efforts to create an alternative international payments system, economists said.

“The yuan hopes to become a reserve currency, to prevent the situation where the US dollar dominates the global financial system – or the so-called hegemony of the US dollar. This is a longer-term goal … and an inevitable trend,” said Shen Jianguan, vice-president and chief economist at JD Digits, although he added that the adjustment also reflected changes to China’s trading environment.

His remarks were echoed by Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at China Industrial Bank, who said the cut would give the yuan marginally more independence against the US dollar.

“The yuan should live its own way – now there is too much shadow from other [currencies] hanging over it,” he said.

The US dollar still has the heaviest weighting in the CFETS index, while the value of the euro has been expanded to 17.40 per cent from 16.34 per cent. The weighting of the Hong Kong dollar fell to 3.57 per cent from 4.28 per cent.


I'm not sure how much impact this seemingly small move will have on the goals stated in the report, but I note that the goals stated used to be things we had to infer from financial news. They are now being broadcast overtly.
I've been tracking news about drumbeats for the cashless society in a separate thread, but it seems that central banks are making a lot of noise about digital currencies lately, so I'm guessing there must have been some consensus reached recently (perhaps at Davos?), so it's probably worth tracking here as another thread in the move to a New World Order.

Leaders of six major central banks undertaking joint research on digital currencies are considering holding their first meeting in mid-April in Washington, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday.

A Bank of Japan executive said no timetable has been fixed for any meeting of the group, but said central banks must respond flexibly to rapid digitalisation to stay relevant as issuers of money.

"In Japan, we don't have any plans now to issue central bank digital currencies (CBDC)," BOJ board member Takako Masai told a news conference in Nara, western Japan, on Thursday.

"But we need to make an effort so we're ready to respond, in case public demand for central bank digital currencies rise dramatically," she said.

The central banks of Britain, the euro zone, Japan, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland announced a plan last month to share their findings to look at the case for issuing digital currencies, amid growing debate over the future of money.

The leaders of the six central banks and the Bank of International Settlements will meet in April to discuss ways to streamline cross-border settlement and security issues that need to be addressed if central banks issue digital currencies in the future, the paper said.


Japan needs closer cooperation with the U.S. to curb the potential influence of China’s planned digital currency, according to a senior lawmaker in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party.

Speaking ahead of the Friday release of proposals aimed at paving the way for digital currency use in Japan, Norihiro Nakayama, vice minister for foreign affairs, said he hoped the Federal Reserve would partner with six other central banks including the Bank of Japan in studying digital currencies.

“We sense the digital yuan is a challenge to the existing global reserve currency system and currency hegemony,” said Nakayama, a top member of the ruling party group that drafted the proposals. “Without the U.S., we cannot counter China’s efforts to challenge the existing reserve currency and international settlement system.”

The comments indicate the heightened concern among policy makers in Japan over the likely impact of a digitized yuan expected for later this year. ...

Central banks have lost control of global liquidity. The dollarised international financial system has become treacherously unstable and vulnerable to a sudden reversal in capital flows.

Yet the International Monetary Fund is a diminished force and no longer has the firepower to act as the world's lender of last resort in an emergency. That is the stark conclusion of a G20 task-force of leading currency experts.

A surge in offshore dollar lending -- increasingly through opaque security markets -- has exploded to $18 trillion and has overwhelmed the safety buffers of the existing financial architecture. The concern is that a continued surge in the value of the US dollar -- potentially triggered by the coronavirus epidemic, or any other black swan catalyst -- could bring this to a head.

"The risk of an unexpected and unplanned reversal of abundant global liquidity hangs over the world economy. Strong contagion across markets could make the endogenous dynamics of global liquidity very dangerous," the panel warned in an advisory report for G20 ministers, the Financial Stability Board and the IMF.

A decade of ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing has flooded the globe with highly unstable forms of funding denominated in dollars, with no guarantor standing behind them. Glaring currency and maturity mismatches have accumulated.

This structure is prone to an abrupt "dollar crunch" should borrowers in China, east Asia, emerging markets, or even parts of Europe suddenly start scrambling for scarce US currency to repay bonds and loans in a crisis.

The report from the Robert Triffin International forum said the purely "private component of global liquidity" (defined as foreign currency credit to non-banks) has mushroomed to $12 trillion. This now dwarfs the shrunken $3 trillion pool of "official" liquidity, such as IMF resources, central bank swap lines, and even the eurozone bailout fund (ESM).

This private liquidity is highly geared to spasms of risk appetite and over-confidence, and even more geared to panic when trouble starts. It can snap back violently and set off potentially unstoppable chain reactions in a heartbeat. The liquidity is "destroyed" by forced deleveraging. Staircase up, escalator down.

"As the 2008 experience shows, the supply of private liquidity cannot be relied upon in periods of stress," according to the document by Bernard Snoy, Andre Icard, and Philip Turner, former top officials at the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements.

They warned that there is no clear backstop if anything goes wrong. This is the Achilles' heel in the structure of globalised modern finance, the torment of regulators at their Swiss sanctum sanctorum in Basel.

The IMF cannot plausibly come to the rescue in a major upset. Its resources have dwindled to just 1 percent of global external liabilities, down from 4 percent in the 1980s, overtaken by the mushrooming scale of cross-border finance. "The IMF is not in a position to function as an international lender of last resort. The global financial safety net is too small," they said.


h/t: http://gata.org/node/19826

Looks like the Fed needs to open the spigot a few more turns. :eek:
"As the 2008 experience shows, the supply of private liquidity cannot be relied upon in periods of stress,"

eerrr I dont think we had to worry too much about private liquidity ........
$27T of unprivate liquidity soon fixed things

Next time $270T ? yeah that will be hard to create electronically (sarc)
I don't like quoting/linking Yahoo because their content is live for a short period of time before being deleted, but this was an original report, so...

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave his monetary policy report in front of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, and then withstood hours of questions from members of Congress.

Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat from Illinois, spent his entire five minutes asking Powell about cryptocurrency.

That line of questioning yielded some perspective from Powell that the Fed chair not previously given, and his responses could stoke optimism or disappointment from many in the cryptocurrency world, depending on how they want to parse his typically very deliberate word choice.

So, what did we learn about Powell and crypto?

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard revealed earlier this month that the Federal Reserve is looking into the possibility of designing and issuing a government-backed cryptocurrency, though she did cite “risks” the Fed sees. She specifically raised “the potential for a CBDC” or central bank digital currency.

Foster referenced Brainard’s remarks and asked Powell for his take. Powell made it clear that in his view, the U.S. dollar is working just fine: “Having a single government currency at the heart of the financial system is something that has served us well. It’s a very, very basic thing, it really hasn’t been in question, and I think before we move away from that, we should really understand what we’re doing. Preserving the centrality of a central, widely accepted currency that is accepted and trusted is an enormously important thing.”

He sounded pretty cautious about a central bank crypto (or “Fedcoin” as many have nicknamed it), but he also acknowledges that central banks around the world are at least looking into it.

“Every major central bank is currently taking a deep look at that,” Powell said. “We feel that’s our obligation, technology has now made that possible. I think it’s very much incumbent on us and other central banks to understand the costs and benefits and tradeoffs associated with a possible digital currency.”

The elephant in the room for the entire Fedcoin conversation is China.

Even as China has cracked down on certain cryptocurrencies and bitcoin miners in its country, Xi Jinping has urged Chinese companies to spur blockchain innovation, and now the PBOC (People’s Bank of China) is very close to issuing a state-run cryptocurrency.

Foster asked Powell if the Fed has “visibility” into what China is doing in this area and how far along it is. “Yes, we certainly have that,” Powell said. “But they’re in a completely different institutional context. For example, the idea of having a ledger where you know everybody’s payments, that’s not something that would be particularly attractive in the United States context. It’s not a problem in China.”

Indeed, a PBOC coin would obviously be centralized and run by the Chinese government, whereas the entire value proposition of bitcoin is that it is decentralized. In the U.S., where consumers are used to freedom and privacy, any financial ledger where the government has access to all the data will be greeted with heavy scrutiny.


Bitcoin's ledger is public domain. Govco can examine the data just like anyone else. It's always been a point of cognitive dissonance IMO with the whole crypto-privacy illusion.
As central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) march into view, a privately run version of digital fiat is adding a key tech partner.

Utility Settlement Coin (USC), the blockchain-based payments system involving commercial and central banks, will be working with ConsenSys-backed startup Adhara, CoinDesk has learned. Adhara was behind Project Khokha, which used enterprise blockchain client Quorum to see how zero-knowledge proofs performed with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

The move is one of only a handful of public overtures by Fnality, the company that oversees the development of USC. Fnality raised $64.5 million in June 2019 from 14 shareholders including banking giants Barclays, Santander, BNY Mellon, ING and others.

“We think adding Adhara is going to really help us. They've got experience of doing some of this type of stuff in other places,” said Fnality CEO Rhomaios Ram.

The sensitive nature of Fnality’s discussions with central banks means it likes to keep a low profile. To date, USC’s only known technology partner was London-based Clearmatics Technologies. (Clearmatics, which uses a fork of ethereum, played a key part in the inception of USC, along with Swiss lender UBS, back in 2015.)

“At Fnality we are pursuing a multi-partner strategy,” Ram said. “Part of that is associated with risk and part of that is associated with we want more people involved in this ecosystem.”

The USC is commercial bank money, as opposed to a pure CBDC, which is issued and backed by the domestic central bank and carries sovereign risk. However, the design of USC allows it to carry some of the characteristics of central bank money because the cash collateral backing the USC is held at a domestic central bank.

As stated in a mandate to its shareholder commercial banks, Fnality’s plan is to represent five currencies on its blockchain – USD, euro, JPY, GBP and CAD – and solve the so-called “cash on ledger” problem, allowing wholesale banking transactions to happen instantly, cross-border and 24/7.

Two different reports of the same speech...
At a time when many monetary regulators are exploring the concept of central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Bank of Canada has no intention to issue one, at least with the present scenarios.

Revealed by the central bank deputy governor Timothy Lane in a speech titled “Money and Payments in the Digital Age,” the regulator is not seeing any benefits of releasing such digital currencies unless the competitors take cash off the market.


In remarks at the CFA Montreal FinTech RDV 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane confirmed that the central bank is preparing for a possible future in which it might have to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While he claimed that there is no current need to issue a CBDC, he acknowledged that it was important to be prepared in case evolving circumstances make it necessary to do so in the future.

Lane described the bank’s contingency planning by first noting that growing changes in the economy, e-commerce, and cash usage could create a future in which cash becomes too costly for merchants to use. He cited Sweden and Norway as examples of societies where even banks have started to scale back cash processing services. In addition, he pointed to cross-border payment challenges, and transaction costs for family members living in different nations as examples of current payment challenges.

To help ensure a reliable payment system for Canadians, the central bank intends to focus on strengthening access to bank notes, updating the country’s payment system, and developing an appropriate framework for regulating private digital currencies and stablecoins.

According to Lane, there are scenarios that could cause the central bank to issue a CBDC. The first scenario would occur if Canada reached a “topping point where cash could no longer be used for a sufficiently wide range of transactions” – reducing Canadians’ access to economic activity and payment systems. The second scenario would involve mass adoption of private digital currencies that might directly challenge Canadian monetary sovereignty.



Sweden has officially taken its place as one of the few countries that have started the piloting phase of its Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC. This marks one of the few significant economies currently partaking in it, with China has been in the lead for quite some time now. Now, however, China has gained a competitor, with the e-krona testing already underway.

The Riksbank, Sweden’s central banking firm, stands as one of the world’s oldest central banks. As it stands now, the Riksbank has launched a one-year pilot program of the country’s CBDC. This program aims to test its relative viability within the country, and how easy it would be to adopt a centrally-issued blockchain-based national currency. Should it prove successful, a full replacement will commence shortly after that.

There are a lot of things in motion these days with Covid19 response efforts wreaking havoc on national economies across the globe. Many issues have been covered/discussed in separate "reality check" threads for individual nations, but it was inevitable that at some point, we'd need to take a step back and look at the big picture...

LONDON (Reuters) - From Brazil to Norway, policymakers are leaping to defend currencies against the onslaught of the dollar which scaled three-year peaks on Thursday, raising speculation that a joint move by the world’s biggest central banks may be in the offing.

A global stampede for dollar funding drove currencies across the world to multi-year or record lows against the greenback. Some relief came after the U.S. Federal Reserve opened $450 billion in swap lines to several central banks but the pressure broadly remains.

Coordinated central bank action remains unlikely for now, market watchers said. But these are unusual times, and Norway’s central bank on Thursday threatened to intervene to lift the crown, a step it has not taken in more than 20 years.

More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ions-speculation-of-big-g7-move-idUSKBN2163UT

tl;dr - Currency wars may start heating up if the dollar keeps rising.
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