DMPQ-Discuss the global shift in financial realm happening in the wake of Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The weaponization of trade, the imposition of sanctions and the exclusion from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) by the US could trigger a faster de-dollarisation as countries displaying diplomatic and economic autonomy will be wary of using US-dominated global banking systems.

The US dollar, which is the world’s reserve currency, can see a steady fall in the current context as leading central banks may look to diversify their reserves away from it to other assets or currencies like the Euro, Renminbi or gold.  The notion of de-dollarisation sits well in the thought experiment of a multipolar world where each country will look to enjoy economic autonomy in the sphere of monetary policy.

The US dollar sealed its position in the early 1970s with a deal with the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to conduct global energy trade in dollars. The status of the dollar was enhanced by the collapse of the Bretton Woods system; it essentially eliminated other developed market currencies from competing with the USD. Currently, about 60% of foreign exchange reserves of central banks and about 70% of global trade is conducted using USD.

The US dollar is still the favoured currency for trade because no other currency is liquid enough. Even if a currency does, there would be apprehensions in nations about that currency becoming a mirror of the US dollar. A mere change in regime along with having to bear the same manipulations albeit from a different country is not what the world wants. The only way forward would be to diversify the currency market with no one currency claiming hegemony.

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