Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on BRICS nations to create an alternative to replace the dollar in foreign trade. Other experts suggest President Joe Biden’s policies will destroy America’s middle class for good. The news comes when China and Russia strengthen ties with Brazil and Latin America. Brazil’s leader questioned the institution of the U.S. dollar as the world’s trade currency in the first place and asked why each country could not trade in its currency.
This brings to the forefront the historical moment when the gold standard was abolished in favor of the current system. When President Richard Nixon moved to abolish the gold standard as a commitment mechanism, his administration ushered in decades of relative volatility and made hard currency.
The exchange of gold was severely curtailed through the Bretton Woods international monetary agreement of 1944. When the International Monetary Fund was established, the U.S. Dollar became the most potent currency in the world. Initially, the role of the IMF was only to assist with international transactions, but as we see today, that institution has far overstepped its original purpose. Today, the IMF is a leverage arm for the United States and a few European nations to fund countries/regimes that align with its policy. The U.S., for instance, has an almost 20% share of contributions to the fund.
The primary purpose of remaining off the gold standard is that the government can print money endlessly, with two primary goals. First, a massive defense budget and needless proxy wars would not be possible if the United States were on the gold standard. Secondly, the people who control the central banks cannot extract interest on national debts that are currently out of control. So, the fiat currency supposedly backed by the “full faith and credit” of the government, the dollar, is worth what lying politicians and finance ministers say it is.
One look at the worldwide bond market reveals a disturbing imbalance. The U.S., which now has over $51 trillion in outstanding debt, has borrowed more to finance wars and programs than China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the U.K., and Canada combined. The American taxpayer is responsible for almost 40% of all the foreign debt in the world. And the outlook for the short and long-term future could be better.
President Joe Biden wants to borrow even more when his administration conducts a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. With billions flowing into Europe’s most corrupt country, Americans are on the precipice of an economic catastrophe not seen since the Great Depression.
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington and the Congressional Budget Office, the government will no longer be able to pay everyone — including bondholders, Social Security recipients, and federal employees — sometime this summer or early this fall. A New York Times report from late March outlines the situation. But the problem is far worse than many experts suggest. No matter which way lawmakers move, the U.S. has almost insurmountable fiscal issues. The ramifications will be dire whether or not they raise the debt limit. And if the BRICS countries go off the dollar as a trade currency… Well.
Many experts predict that American greenbacks won’t be worth the printed paper if the world stops using the U.S. dollar as its world currency reserve. Moreover, if the dollar loses its value significantly, every American who owes a credit card loan or a home mortgage will find it ten times harder to pay off those debts.
To make matters worse, millions of jobs will be sacrificed for the Federal Reserve to get any financial stability. Analysis from RSM International shows that the central banks must “induce” a recession to get America’s economic situation in check. And the dollar being made useless by the larger world community was not a factor in their analysis.
The bottom line is if we were still on the gold standard, this would be fine. The gold standard reduced the risks of such economic crises and recessions. Income levels were higher when we were on the bullion-backed system. More importantly, the gold standard created hard limits on printing money and limiting military spending. For more intuition on this, this Barron’s report reveals how our current failing system came into being. The information also serves as a crystal ball for what will happen.
As confidence in the dollar wanes and U.S. policy overseas gets more aggressive toward BRICS nations and others, the tipping point of the American hegemony draws closer.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”