Now the basis of this system, which has operated for the past 50 years, is being called into question. The sanctions on Russia, which showed that reserves accumulated by central banks can simply be taken away, raised the question of “what is money?”
That question may explain why Pozsar believes a huge shift in the way the world organizes money and reserves is now underway, “creating a “Bretton Woods III backed by outside money,” (gold and other commodities). Including crude oil and bitcoin.
At least crude oil has fallen below $100 as Biden merrily drains the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Gasoline prices have fallen slightly as this is being done before the midterm elections with political, not economic, intent. Once the midterms pass, will Biden continue draining the SPR until there is little left forcing the US to convert to “green energy”?
The purchasing power of the consumer dollar took a plunge under Biden as other commodities such as Bitcoin and crude oil soared.
An alternative asset, gold, have generally risen under Biden’s Reign of Error, but particularly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Coindesk: The foundations of Bretton Woods II crumbled last week when the G7 seized Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, the investment bank said.
The Russian-Ukrainian war will create a new world financial order from which Bitcoin is set to benefit, according to Credit Suisse.
Zoltan Pozsar, global head of short-term interest rate strategy at the giant investment bank, wrote in a Monday report that Western sanctions on Russia are likely to cause a paradigm shift in the way the world organizes money and reserves, a “Bretton Woods III” kind of scenario.
“From the Bretton Woods era backed by gold bullion, to Bretton Woods II backed by inside money, to Bretton Woods III backed by outside money,” the strategist wrote.
Pozsar argues that the fall of Bretton Woods II ensued last week as G7 countries decided to seize Russia’s foreign exchange (FX) reserves, leading to a rise of outside money – reserves kept as commodities – over inside money – reserves kept as liabilities of global financial institutions.
“We are witnessing the birth of Bretton Woods III – a new world (monetary) order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West,” the report states.
Russia, a surplus agent in the financial system, can now no longer make use of the hefty FX reserves it accumulated through its commodity exports over the decades to defend its falling ruble or aid its local economy. Moreover, Russia’s ability to export its commodities has been severely hurt due to the “buyer’s strike” in the West.
“What we are seeing at the 50-year anniversary of the 1973 OPEC supply shock is something similar but substantially worse – the 2022 Russia supply shock, which isn’t driven by the supplier but the consumer,” the strategist wrote. “The aggressor in the geopolitical arena is being punished by sanctions, and sanctions-driven commodity price moves threaten financial stability in the West.”
Pozsar argues that while Western central banks cannot close spreads between Russian and non-Russian commodity prices as sanctions lead them in opposite directions, the People’s Bank of China can “as it banks for a sovereign who can dance to its own tune.”
“If you believe that the West can craft sanctions that maximize pain for Russia while minimizing financial stability risks and price stability risks in the West, you could also believe in unicorns,” Pozsar wrote.
As outside money keeps trumping inside money, this crisis will likely emerge and end differently than all others ever since Nixon broke off the gold standard in 1971 – which marked the end of the era of commodity-based money.
Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. dollar is in no danger of losing its status as the world’s dominant reserve currency as a result of sanctions imposed against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
“I don’t think the dollar has any serious competition, and is not likely to for a long time,” Yellen told reporters in response to questions following a speech in Denver on Friday.
Some commentators, including Credit Suisse Group AG interest-rate strategist Zoltan Pozsar, have warned sanctions that blocked Russia’s access to its foreign currency reserves could drive other countries away from the dollar.
Well, what Zoltan says may be true, but not so far. Bitcoin has been plunging since November 2021 as inflation keeps rising.
Zoltan: “..and Bitcoin (if it still exists then) will probably benefit from all this.” The US Treasury yield curve is listing towards inversion, a signal of impending recession.