Bancor: The Global Currency The IMF is Proposing

The Economic Collapse

Sometimes there are things that are so shocking that you just do not want to report them unless they can be completely and totally documented.  Over the past few years, there have been many rumors about a coming global currency, but at times it has been difficult to pin down evidence that plans for such a currency are actually in the works.  Not anymore.  A paper entitled “Reserve Accumulation and International Monetary Stability” by the Strategy, Policy and Review Department of the IMF recommends that the world adopt a global currency called the “Bancor” and that a global central bank be established to administer that currency.  The report is dated April 13, 2010 and a full copy can be read here.  Unfortunately this is not hype and it is not a rumor.  This is a very serious proposal in an official document from one of the mega-powerful institutions that is actually running the world economy.  Anyone who follows the IMF knows that what the IMF wants, the IMF usually gets.  So could a global currency known as the “Bancor” be on the horizon?  That is now a legitimate question.

So where in the world did the name “Bancor” come from?  Well, it turns out that ”Bancor” is the name of a hypothetical world currency unit once suggested by John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes was a world famous British economist who headed the World Banking Commission that created the IMF during the Breton Woods negotiations.

The Wikipedia entry for “Bancor” puts it this way….

The bancor was a World Currency Unit of clearing that was proposed by John Maynard Keynes, as leader of the British delegation and chairman of the World Bank commission, in the negotiations that established the Bretton Woods system, but has not been implemented.

The IMF report referenced above proposed naming the coming world currency unit the “Bancor” in honor of Keynes.

So what about Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)?  Over the past couple of years, SDRs have been touted as the coming global currency.  Well, the report does envision making SDRs “the principal reserve asset” as we move towards a global currency unit….

“As a complement to a multi-polar system, or even—more ambitiously—its logical end point, a greater role could be considered for the SDR.”

However, the report also acknowledges that SDRs do have some serious limitations.  Since the value of SDRs are closely tied to national currencies, anything affecting those currencies will affect SDRs as well.

Right now, SDRs are made up of a basket of currencies.  The following is a breakdown of the components of an SDR….

*U.S. Dollar (44 percent)

*Euro (34 percent)

*Yen (11 percent)

*Pound (11 percent)

The IMF report recognizes that moving to SDRs is only a partial move away from the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency and urges the adoption of a currency unit that would be truly international.  The truth is that SDRs are clumsy and cumbersome.  For now, SDRs must still be reconverted back into a national currency before they can be used, and that really limits their usefulness according to the report….

“A limitation of the SDR as discussed previously is that it is not a currency. Both the SDR and SDR-denominated instruments need to be converted eventually to a national currency for most payments or interventions in foreign exchange markets, which adds to cumbersome use in transactions. And though an SDR-based system would move away from a dominant national currency, the SDR’s value remains heavily linked to the conditions and performance of the major component countries.”

So what is the answer?

Well, the IMF report believes that the adoption of a true global currency administered by a global central bank is the answer.

The authors of the report believe that it would be ideal if the “Bancor” would immediately be used as currency by many nations throughout the world, but they also acknowledge that a more “realistic” approach would be for the “Bancor” to circulate alongside national currencies at first….

“One option is for bancor to be adopted by fiat as a common currency (like the euro was), an approach that would result immediately in widespread use and eliminate exchange rate volatility among adopters (comparable, for instance, to Cooper 1984, 2006 and the Economist, 1988). A somewhat less ambitious (and more realistic) option would be for bancor to circulate alongside national currencies, though it would need to be adopted by fiat by at least some (not necessarily systemic) countries in order for an exchange market to develop.”

So who would print and administer the “Bancor”?

Well, a global central bank of course.  It would be something like the Federal Reserve, only completely outside the control of any particular national government….

“A global currency, bancor, issued by a global central bank (see Supplement 1, section V) would be designed as a stable store of value that is not tied exclusively to the conditions of any particular economy. As trade and finance continue to grow rapidly and global integration increases, the importance of this broader perspective is expected to continue growing.”

In fact, at one point the IMF report specifically compares the proposed global central bank to the Federal Reserve….

“The global central bank could serve as a lender of last resort, providing needed systemic liquidity in the event of adverse shocks and more automatically than at present. Such liquidity was provided in the most recent crisis mainly by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which however may not always provide such liquidity.”

So is that what we really need?

A world currency administered by an international central bank modeled after the Federal Reserve?

Not at all.

As I have written about previously, the Federal Reserve has devalued the U.S. dollar by over 95 percent since it was created and the U.S. government has accumulated the largest debt in the history of the world under this system.

So now we want to impose such a system on the entire globe?

The truth is that a global currency (whether it be called the “Bancor” or given a different name entirely) would be a major blow to national sovereignty and would represent a major move towards global government.

Considering how disastrous the Federal Reserve system and other central banking systems around the world have been, why would anyone suggest that we go to a global central banking system modeled after the Federal Reserve?

Let us hope that the “Bancor” never sees the light of day.

However, the truth is that there are some very powerful interests that are absolutely determined to create a global currency and a global central bank for the global economy that we now live in.

It would be a major mistake to think that it can’t happen.

U.S. asset managers: Obama could confiscate gold

Mineweb.com

Speaking at the FT Silver conference in London yesterday, lead-off speaker John Levin, HSBC Bank’s Managing Director, Global

Is Gold confiscation next to 'save the economy'?

Metals and Trading (HSBC is one of the world’s top precious metals traders and its vaults in the U.S. and Europe hold huge holdings of gold and silver bullion) recounted conversations with some of the U.S.’s top asset managers controlling massive amounts of capital asking if HSBC had the capacity in its vaults to store major gold purchases.  On being told that the bank’s U.S. vaults had sufficient space available he was told that they did not want their gold stored in the U.S.A. but preferably in Europe because they feared that at some stage the U.S. Administration might follow the path set by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 and confiscate all U.S. gold holdings as part of the country’s strategy in dealing with the nation’s economic problems.

While in Mineweb‘s view such a move is unlikely, one needs to bear in mind that President Obama is a keen follower of Roosevelt’s views and policies and that the very fact that some asset managers controlling huge volumes of money feel that such a move is possible is a significant factor – and one that is perhaps heightened by the huge amounts of money flowing into gold at the moment in both ETFs and bullion.

As a reminder to readers – Section 2 of Roosevelt’s Act read as follows: All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.

At that time of course, the dollar was exchangeable for gold at a set value ($20.67 an ounce) so compensation for such a move would have been easy to calculate.  Roosevelt subsequently revalued gold to the $35 level which stood for over 30 years.   Nowadays that kind of process would be a little more difficult, but perhaps not beyond the means of a government, already versed in printing large sums of money to try and re-stimulate the economy.  Perhaps a figure of the average gold price over a 3 month period at a certain date would meet an initial compensation valuation, but in today’s much more litigious society such a move might well fail anyway.

Indeed current economic analysis of the Roosevelt move suggests that it was not successful in helping drag the U.S. out of depression and indeed may have contributed to a recession within a depression – a pretty dire situation.  It probably took World War II to end the Great Depression.

Levin’s presentation – a trader’s view from the coal-face as he put it – contained much anecdotal material of interest and was a refreshing change from the usual analysts’ viewpoints.  More of that in a subsequent article.

It’s Spain’s Time to Try to Dodge the Bullet

FT

Fears that Greek debt crisis will spread to other eurozone nations intensified on Wednesday when Spain suffered a debt downgrade Spain's Economic Crisisfrom Standard & Poor’s, sending the euro to fresh lows against the dollar.

The downgrade, by one notch from AA plus to AA, dealt a blow to Spain’s frantic efforts to avoid contagion from Greece and followed S&P downgrades this week of Greece and Portugal.

As financial markets continued to gyrate and investors offloaded Spanish stocks and bonds, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development compared the growing debt crisis to the Ebola virus.

“It’s not a question of the danger of contagion; contagion has already happened,” Angel Gurría told Bloomberg. “This is like Ebola. When you realise you have it you have to cut your leg off in order to survive.”

Credit rating agencies have been criticised for their role in the financial crisis, but their views are still closely watched by investors anxious about the deteriorating public finances of some of the world’s most heavily indebted countries.

S&P’s announcement hit Spain’s stocks and bonds. Spanish 10-year bond yields, which have an inverse relationship with prices, rose to 4.127 per cent, while the stock market tumbled 3 per cent.

Greek bond prices fell further in the wake of Tuesday’s downgrade of Greece’s credit rating to junk status by S&P. Ten-year bond yields jumped to 9.91 per cent. The euro was down 0.1 per cent at $1.3135, its lowest since April 2009.

Earlier, speculation that an International Monetary Fund and eurozone rescue package for Greece could rise to as much as €120bn ($158bn) over three years had provided some support for financial markets.

German parliamentarians said after meeting Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director, and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, that Greece would need financial aid of €100bn to €120bn over the next three years.

The €45bn currently proposed, they said, was only enough for the first year.

Mr Strauss-Kahn refused to confirm the higher figure on Wednesday, saying that details of the talks would be announced once the entire Greek standby programme had been finalised by IMF, ECB and European Commission officials meeting the Greek government in Athens.

In Brussels, the Commission told credit rating agencies weighing up risks in Greece that it expected them “to take due account of the fundamentals of the Greek economy and the support package”.

“We, of course, expect that credit rating agencies, like other financial players, and in particular during this difficult and sensitive period, act in a responsible and rigorous way,” said a spokesperson for Michel Barnier, EU internal market commissioner.

Greece is expected to conclude negotiations on its rescue this weekend. George Papandreou, prime minister, told his cabinet: “We’re determined to reverse past mistake … we have to create in the shortest possible time a viable economy with growth and jobs for everyone.”

With Spain the latest developed nation to feel the heat from growing market nervousness over high budget deficits and rising public debt, S&P said it downgraded the country’s long-term sovereign debt after revising downwards its assumptions for medium-term Spanish growth.

“We now believe that the Spanish economy’s shift away from credit-fuelled economic growth is likely to result in a more protracted period of sluggish activity than we previously assumed,” Marko Mrsnik, credit analyst, said.   More…