The answer for Zhou is already written here - as advocated by Prof Stephen NS Cheung and I recapped some 3.5 years ago. All issues Zhou raised are addressed in this system, which Zhou lamented for its being shelved some 70 years ago. China can go ahead with this solution alone while persuading G20/IMF/WB to follow suit. This is an area where China can and should lead, by doing it first, because China does not have the legacy of the developed nations. If China does so, it would surely be first joined by most nations which are now pegging their currencies to the USD or Basket (eg the gulf nations, ASEAN, some Eastern European non-Euro countries including Russia, may also follow suit)
- an international reserve currency should first be anchored to a stable benchmark and issued according to a clear set of rules, therefore to ensure orderly supply; second, its supply should be flexible enough to allow timely adjustment according to the changing demand; third, such adjustments should be disconnected from economic conditions and sovereign interests of any single country. The acceptance of credit-based national currencies as major international reserve currencies, as is the case in the current system, is a rare special case in history. The crisis again calls for creative reform of the existing international monetary system towards an international reserve currency with a stable value, rule-based issuance and manageable supply, so as to achieve the objective of safeguarding global economic and financial stability.
- Though the super-sovereign reserve currency has long since been proposed, yet no substantive progress has been achieved to date. Back in the 1940s, Keynes had already proposed to introduce an international currency unit named "Bancor", based on the value of 30 representative commodities. Unfortunately, the proposal was not accepted.
- A super-sovereign reserve currency not only eliminates the inherent risks of credit-based sovereign currency, but also makes it possible to manage global liquidity. A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by a global institution could be used to both create and control the global liquidity. And when a country's currency is no longer used as the yardstick for global trade and as the benchmark for other currencies, the exchange rate policy of the country would be far more effective in adjusting economic imbalances. This will significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability.
- he reform should be guided by a grand vision and begin with specific deliverables. It should be a gradual process that yields win-win results for all
- Zhou said the proposed new currency also should be used for trade, investment, pricing commodities and corporate bookkeeping.
- "A super-sovereign reserve currency managed by a global institution could be used to both create and control global liquidity," Zhou wrote. "This will significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability." Zhou also called for changing how SDRs are valued. Currently, they are based on the value of four currencies the dollar, euro, yen and British pound. "The basket of currencies forming the basis for SDR valuation should be expanded to include currencies of all major economies," Zhou wrote. "The allocation of the SDR can be shifted from a purely calculation-based system to one backed by real assets, such as a reserve pool, to further boost market confidence in its value."
- Mr Zhou's proposal is China's way of making clear that it is worried that the Fed's response to the crisisprinting loads of moneywill hurt the dollar and hence the value of China's huge foreign reserves, of which around two-thirds are in dollars.
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