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Dollar under scrutiny at G20 summit

• Yahoo News

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AFP) – The embattled US dollar is expected to come under scrutiny at a summit of developing and industrialized nations following China-led calls to review its role as a reserve currency.

The dollar issue is bound to surface at the two-day meeting in Pittsburgh as US President Barack Obama and other leaders of the Group of 20 economies debate a new framework for tackling the so called global "economic imbalances" blamed for fuelling the latest financial crisis.

"Though not clear how the plan would be enforced, it would involve measures such as the US cutting its deficits and saving more, China reducing its reliance on exports and Europe making structural changes to boost business investment," analysts at French bank Societe Generale said in a report.

Some argue that the financial crisis resulted from imbalances between savings and investment in major economies, which have led to large current deficits, as evident in the United States, and surpluses, as enjoyed by China.

Beijing was the first to call for a new global currency as an alternative to the US dollar as the US deficit rocketed -- the White House estimates it could reach nine trillion dollars over a decade.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern as early as March over the safety of his country's huge US bond holdings now worth more than 800 billion dollars, making it the largest creditor to the United States.

Then, Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who supervises more than two trillion dollars worth of dollar reserves, the world's largest, raised the stakes by calling for a new reserve currency in place of the dollar.

 

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