As countries like China, Brazil, India, and Malaysia continue to explore alternatives to the US dollar for settling international trades, there is growing concern over the implications of this de-dollarization trend on the stock market and the dollar’s future as the world’s reserve currency.
Recently, China and Brazil agreed to settle trades in their respective currencies, marking another step towards de-dollarization. With China replacing the US as Brazil’s main trading partner, this move seems almost inevitable. This shift, however, raises questions about the central role of the US dollar in global trade.
The US dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency has driven demand for US government bonds. However, the growing trend of de-dollarization, coupled with increasingly erratic monetary policy, has led countries to seek alternative reserve currencies. Examples include India and Malaysia using the Indian Rupee for certain trades and discussions of Saudi Arabia and other energy exporters moving away from the dollar.
China has also recently executed a test trade for natural gas with France settled in yuan. In response to these shifts, some proposed alternatives to the dollar include cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies, or baskets of commodities representative of a nation or region’s competitive advantage.
The potential decrease in interest in tradable US debt as alternative reserve currencies gain popularity may lead to higher yields and increased debt service on securities issued by the US Treasury in the short term. Over generational timeframes, this shift could force a reduction in US government spending, resulting in higher average inflation and/or higher taxes on American citizens.
The dollar’s long-term fate as the global currency of choice may already be sealed due to its weaponization and the disorientation of US monetary policy. De-dollarization will continue as long as the political will to maintain sound fiscal and monetary policies remains absent.
The stock market is likely to experience turbulence as a result of these changes, particularly if demand for US Treasury bonds declines. Investors may need to adjust their strategies to account for potential shifts in currency valuations and the implications for multinational corporations. The de-dollarization trend, while still in its early stages, is a crucial factor to monitor for those looking to navigate an increasingly complex global financial landscape.