Foreigners see the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) as Washington surrogates in a financial system backed by US military bases and aircraft carriers encircling the globe. But this military domination is a vestige of an American empire no longer able to rule by economic strength. US military power is muscle-bound, based more on atomic weaponry and long-distance air strikes than on ground operations, which have become too politically unpopular to mount on any large scale.
As Chris Hedges wrote in June 2009, “The architects of this new global exchange realize that if they break the dollar they also break America’s military domination. US military spending cannot be sustained without this cycle of heavy borrowing. The official US defense budget for fiscal year 2008 was $623 billion. The next closest national military budget was China’s, at $65 billion, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.”
To fund the permanent war economy, the US has been flooding the world with dollars. The foreign recipients turn the dollars over to their central banks for local currency. The central banks then have a problem. If a central bank does not spend the money in the United States, then the exchange rate against the dollar increases, penalizing exporters. This has allowed the US to print money without restraint, to buy imports and foreign companies, to fund military expansion, and to ensure that foreign nations like China continue to buy American treasury bonds.
In July 2009, President Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a “united future world currency.” The coin, which bears the words “Unity in Diversity,” was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of G8 delegations.
In September 2009, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development proposed creating a new artificial currency that would replace the dollar as reserve currency. The UN wants to redesign the Bretton Woods system of international exchange. Formation of this currency would be the largest monetary overhaul since World War II. China is involved in deals with Brazil and Malaysia to denominate their trade in China’s yuan, while Russia promises to begin trading in the ruble and local currencies.
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