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IPFS News Link • Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Drifts Away from Washington and the Dollar

• Mises - Ryan McMaken

Some versions of the story even claimed the Chinese yuan would replace the dollar. 

The reports appear to have originated either in India or in publications that cater to crypto investors. Fervor over the story was large enough that economist Paul Donovan at UBS felt the need to clarify that there have not actually been any big, new developments in Saudi-US currency relations. 

It now seems clear that these reports of an alleged formal petrodollar "contract" did indeed get several key facts wrong. First of all, the Saudis' turn toward embracing currencies other than dollars is not new. Moreover, there is no known formal treaty or contract between the US and Saudi Arabia—least of all one with an expiration date. 

One could reasonably argue, however, that these reports of the decline of the petrodollar are only wrong in their particulars. The reports do reflect a real-world trend, however, and that's likely why the stories about the end of petrodollar may seem plausible to many. The Kingdom of Saudi Araba (KSA) has been increasingly moving further away from the US orbit in recent years, and this is reflected in an increased willingness to settle oil deals in non-dollar currencies. There are also other indications that the Saudis are more and more willing to embrace Washington's adversaries—such as China and Iran and Russia—in spite of Washington's objections. While short run changes may seem minor, the current trend in US-Saudi relations points to an overall and significant decline in US global influence.

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