by ilene - March 1st, 2011 5:52 pm
Courtesy of Mish
A number of sites are commenting on a Bloomberg video in which El-Erian, PIMCO Co-CEO says "Dollar could lose its reserve currency status".
Bloomberg: "Mohammad what does a weak dollar signal to you, a dollar that can’t jump up here on a day like we’ve seen today?"
El-Erian: "It is a warning shot to America that we cannot simply assume flight to quality, flight to safety. That people are starting to worry about the fiscal situation in the U.S. They are starting to worry about the level of debt. They are starting to worry about what they hear about states and municipalities. So, I would take this as a warning shot that we cannot assume that we will maintain the standing of the reserve currency as we have in the past."
Reserve Currency Definition
Before we can debate whether or not the US will lose reserve currency standing, we must first define what it means.
Investopedia defines Reserve Currency as follows.
"A foreign currency held by central banks and other major financial institutions as a means to pay off international debt obligations, or to influence their domestic exchange rate."
I accept that definition. Unfortunately Investopedia rambles on with nonsense about the implications: "A large percentage of commodities, such as gold and oil, are usually priced in the reserve currency,causing other countries to hold this currency to pay for these goods."
That sentence is a widely believed fallacy. The reality is no country is obligated to hold dollars to buy goods denominated in dollars.
Currencies are Fungible
Currencies other that illiquid currencies with low or no trading volume (think of Yap Island stones or the Cuban Peso) are fungible. It is a trivial process to switch from one currency to another.
You can buy gold or silver in any country, and I assure you those transactions do not all take place in dollars. Thus, just because a commodity is widely priced in dollars does not mean it only trades in dollars.
That holds true for oil as well.
I keep pointing this out, unfortunately to no avail, that oil trades in Euros right now. There is no selling of Euros to buy dollars on the front causing the oil producers to trade dollars for euros on the back end. The oil states simply sell oil for a price in Euros and then hold Euros in their…
by ilene - August 18th, 2009 5:45 pm
Courtesy of Lawrence Delevingne at Clusterstock
Mohamed El-Erian has called the recent Wall Street rally a "sugar high." Now, he says U.S. stocks have hit a wall.
The chief executive of bond-king PIMCO said on Reuters TV that U.S. stocks had topped out because valuations have shot up too quickly.
Reuters: Asked if U.S. stocks have hit a wall, El-Erian told Reuters Television: "I think we have, and I think what you are seeing is a massive tug of war going on."
World stock markets fell Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI declining 2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC falling 5.8 percent, shaking off recent optimism amid doubts about the sustainability of a solid economic recovery.
"On the one hand, pushing stocks higher are powerful technicals, the fact that very low yields on the front end have pushed cash out of the money market segment and into the risk assets," El-Erian said. "But on the other hand, the fundamentals are such that valuations are ahead of fundamentals. What you have seen over the last couple of days is a recognition that fundamentals matter."
Watch the interview here.