Sam's Exchange: Single World Currency - Conspiracy or Not?

© Photo : Source: Sam BardenSam Barden
Sam Barden - Sputnik International
In 1988, the Economist Magazine ran an article predicting that in 30 years’ time we will probably all be using the same currency to pay for our goods and services as a global currency. More than that, they told us the currency already had a name: the phoenix.

In 1988, the Economist Magazine ran an article predicting that in 30 years’ time we will probably all be using the same currency to pay for our goods and services as a global currency. More than that, they told us the currency already had a name: the phoenix.

The phoenix would replace all national currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the yen, European currencies (this was pre-euro) and that companies and shoppers would favor the phoenix because as a global unit of account it would offer price stability. The path to the phoenix would first be a grouping of national currencies and currency unions, like the euro, the amero, which would include North and South America, an African Union, and an Asian Union. These monetary unions would then come together in a similar way as today’s special drawing rights, which are a basket of currencies, to then form the phoenix - a single world currency. Of course, anyone pointing out that a single world currency would create totalitarian global elite, as the phoenix would be privately issued and controlled, and that we would need a global central bank and a global government and governance, is tagged as a conspiracy theorist. It has been 24 years since the Economist made the prediction. The question remains: Is there any likelihood that we are headed for a global currency?
If we are headed for a global currency, it would imply that we are moving into a more centralized system where we have global currency, a global central bank and leading to a world government. However, a look at Europe and the European Union might tell you that the policy of centralization is not working. Far from EU members wanting to cede sovereign powers to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and support each other economically to cover debts, the EU is on the verge of seeing members exit their union. 
The odds of Greece leaving the EU, dropping the euro and returning to the drachma are a certainty. It is just a matter of when. More recently, the United Kingdom, an EU member but not a euro user, seems to have gone cold on the idea of the euro by using its veto power recently to block a new EU-wide treaty aimed at saving the ailing euro. As a result, the UK is now without support at the EU top table, with the remaining 26 member countries voting to bypass the UK and form a new accord. The UK in response is in talks with China to establish London as a key offshore trading hub for the yuan, the Chinese currency. Hong Kong is the main offshore trading hub at present. 
Equally, the U.S. dollar hegemonic status is under pressure. While China is encouraging its trading partners in Asia and Europe to use the yuan as the basis for settling trade rather than the dollar, Russia is also doing the same. In fact only a week ago, the Russian and Iranian presidents spoke about settling their bilateral trade directly in rubles and rials. With China and Russia already moving towards settling trade directly in ruble-yuan, and now Iran coming into the mix, with the growing Asian energy market, Asia, Russia and Iran will undoubtedly together challenge the dollar hegemony and in so doing decentralize rather than centralize markets, making a global currency less and not more likely.
In fact, currency is a unit of account and should have intrinsic value. Currency movement is dictated by where trade is done. As the Asian markets grow, and  direct trade between counties grow, like Russia to Asia, Middle East to Asia, the need for the dollar and the euro diminishes, meaning less demand for each currency. In fact, what is demanded is global monetary order, but this does not mean a global currency. Global monetary order should mean price stability for commodities, such as food and energy, not a global currency. 
So all of this seems to point towards the non-existence of a global currency called the phoenix by 2018. In fact, the opposite seems to be occurring. Markets today are becoming more networked and decentralized as trade is done directly on a peer to peer basis between countries, removing the need for a global central bank or a global government. 
Rather than a global currency, 21st century markets and governments need to look at an intrinsic based currency valuation system. Most people believe that to be a gold standard. However, a truer global standard of account would be energy, in particular natural gas. The use of an energy standard priced in gas would give a basis for all currencies to be valued. And the more efficient countries are with their energy usage, the greater value for money they get. We are not heading for a global currency, but we should be heading for a global currency standard.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Current markets are anything but global or integrated.  What if we had a paradigm shift in the way we think and transact when doing business with each other?  Balanced global trade can only occur if we have transparent, accessible and efficient markets.  We are on the cusp of achieving this, although most people cannot see it.  Sam’s Exchange aims to give its readers a clearer view and a platform for discussion.  Markets, trade and economics are in fact nothing more than the result of our thoughts and actions expressed in numbers, not the reverse.

Sam Barden is founding Partner of SBI Markets DMCC, a Dubai-registered commodities trading and advisory company.  Barden has worked in the global financial markets for more than 17 years in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.  He has advised and executed strategic transactions for both the government and private sector, in particular in energy and commodity markets, advising various energy producing nations on their strategic market developments and interaction.  He holds a degree in economics and finance from Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


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