In our last lesson we continued our free forex trading course with a look at why the US Dollar is still king of the currency world. As expected, this lesson generated a lot of debate, so in today's lesson we are going to look at whether or not the US Dollar will remain the king of the currency world.
As we discussed in our last lesson the US Dollar is involved in approximately 89% of all forex transactions, so the fate of the US Dollar has huge implications not only on the US Dollar, but on the forex market as a whole. While currently the US Dollar is still king of the currency world, many argue that the tides are changing, and that the US Dollar is in danger of losing this status. Whether or not this happens, to what extent it happens, and if it does happen how quickly or slowly it happens, is of huge importance to currency traders.
The most important reason why the US Dollar is king of the currency world is the fact that, as we learned about in our last lesson, it is the world's reserve currency. According to Wikipedia.com, as of 2007 there is approximately $7.5 trillion worth of currencies held as reserves by central banks around the world. Of that $7.5 trillion 63% or 4.7 trillion is held in US Dollars. This is an enormous amount of dollars being held by central banks outside of the United States, so forex traders watch closely anything that could show a decrease in the appetite of central banks for US Dollars.
Like with individuals and companies, other countries willingness to lend money to the United States (by holding US Dollar Denominated Debt as reserves) is based on the financial soundness of the United States as a whole. As we learned about in module 3 of this course, the US has run a large current account deficit for years. In addition to this, the country's government has also run large budget deficits. Like an individual who runs up large amounts of debt, this makes the debt of the United States less attractive, and has the potential to decrease other countries willingness to fund these activities, by holding US Dollar Denominated debt as reserves.
Secondly, many consider the monetary policy of the United States to be flawed, citing the Federal Reserve's increase of the money supply to hold interest rates low, as a major factor in the dollar's decline. As we learned about in our lessons in module 3 of this course, the lowering of interest rates tends to weaken the value of a currency all else being equal. As the value of the currency falls, countries around the world who hold that currency, see wealth evaporate due to the falling value of their reserves. This obviously has the potential to make the US Dollar less attractive for them to hold as their reserve currency, which means a decrease in demand, and a decrease in the value of the currency all else being equal.
As of this lesson the US Dollar has fallen over 35% in the last several years, as measured by the US Dollar Index. As we just discussed, this decreases the wealth of the countries who hold the US Dollar as their reserve currency, and has the potential to reduce their appetite for US Dollars, regardless of the reason for the decline in value. This potentially means a decrease in demand from the central banks to hold US Dollars as their reserve currency, and a decrease in the value of the currency, all else being equal.