Friday, October 10, 2014


by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA


*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "", "CNBC",
Patrick Barron and "BloombergBussinessweek"

How Much Longer Will the Dollar Be the World’s Reserve Currency?
October 14, 2013
In an English-language editorial, China’s Xinhua news agency said the world should consider a new reserve currency “that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States."
China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, with about $1.3 trillion of Treasury bonds in its portfolio. China is also a huge buyer of gold. Some analysts believe China’s government is building gold reserves to create its own gold-backed currency.

Patrick Barron is president of PMG Consulting, LLC and has been a consultant to the banking...

This week we look at the process involved with money and the economic health of our US currency.  We will examine how money is able to affect the economy and our monetary policy.  We also want to mention how counterfeiting by foreign governments could destroy the value of our currency and harm the overall economy.  This is where we would like to begin this week’s article on the "Noodleman Group"!

The one single person responsible for maintaining the health of our US economy is the Chairman of The Federal Reserve.  You could say he is the US economic Tsar.  He is the man who adjust all the knobs and levers (So to speak) economists employ to maintain the overall health of the economy. The Chairman of the Fed., as they are sometimes called or just the Fed. for short, are highly educated and skilled economists who know how to keep the economy running like a well-oiled machine.  If we could compare the economy to the operation of an automobile, the Fed. is the man who knows when to apply the gas or put on the brakes.   He keeps the economy running in the direction which is best for the country.  The Fed. chairman also knows where repairs need to be made when the economy is breaking down.

Allen Greenspan
The Chairman of The Federal Reserve is appointed by the President of the US and is responsible for running the economy as the President wishes.  Our most recent Chairman, Allen Greenspan, was appointed by President Reagan and served at the Federal Reserve from 1987 until 2006.  Mr. Greenspan was reappointed by Presidents G.H.W. Bush, Clinton and G.W. Bush which speaks very highly of his work at the Fed.  Greenspan was skilled at navigating the US economy through both difficult and prosperous periods until his retirement from Washington DC in 2006.

Mr. Greenspan will be our model for this discussion about the Fed since he has a record for running the economy successfully over a period of many years.  The Chairman of The Federal Reserve is the man who calls for more US currency to be printed or in some cases, to be removed from circulation so the Dollar is a strong and credible monetary system.  For example; not enough dollars is circulation and money is tight choking off economic growth.  Too many dollars however, and money begins to become weak and creates inflation, a condition which can become very dangerous and produce uncontrollable decay for money value if left unchecked.

Greenspan's tenure at the Fed in many ways was highly successful guiding the country and the Dollar through recessions and prosperous and this is exactly what the Chairman's job is. He must keep his eye on our Dollars and make sure they are a credible world currency.

Ben Bernanke 
2006 -

Mr. Greenspan's successor at the Fed. is Ben Bernanke.  Appointed by President Bush and now serving under President Obama.  During Bernanke's time in office,  President Obama has dispersed  the "Tarp" moneys authorized by the Bush administration for the purpose of saving the economy after the collapse of the housing bubble which not only threatened the US economy but also the economies of many nations around the world.  This also kept many huge US corporations from declaring bankruptcy as a result of the collapse in home prices.

Inflation is always a term we have heard in the news.  We are able to see its effects on our wages and in our home values.  Inflation has been a main component of our US economy going back to at least the days of the Civil War.  To gain a better understanding of inflation we want to turn to

Inflation - Related definitions
The term "inflation" originally referred to increases in the amount of money in circulation, and some economists still use the word in this way. However, most economists today use the term "inflation" to refer to a rise in the price level. An increase in the money supply may be called monetary inflation, to distinguish it from rising prices, which may also for clarity be called 'price inflation'. Economists generally agree that in the long run, inflation is caused by increases in the money supply.
Other economic concepts related to inflation include: deflation – a fall in the general price level; disinflation – a decrease in the rate of inflation; hyperinflation – an out-of-control inflationary spiral; stagflation – a combination of inflation, slow economic growth and high unemployment; and reflation – an attempt to raise the general level of prices to counteract deflationary pressures.
Since there are many possible measures of the price level, there are many possible measures of price inflation. Most frequently, the term "inflation" refers to a rise in a broad price index representing the overall price level for goods and services in the economy. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI) and the GDP deflator are some examples of broad price indices. 

However, "inflation" may also be used to describe a rising price level within a narrower set of assets, goods or services within the economy, such as commodities (including food, fuel, metals), tangible assets (such as real estate), financial assets (such as stocks, bonds), services (such as entertainment and health care), or labor. The Reuters-CRB Index (CCI), the Producer Price Index, and Employment Cost Index (ECI) are examples of narrow price indices used to measure price inflation in particular sectors of the economy. Core inflation is a measure of inflation for a subset of consumer prices that excludes food and energy prices, which rise and fall more than other prices in the short term. The Federal Reserve Board pays particular attention to the core inflation rate to get a better estimate of long-term future inflation trends overall.

Fed will get its inflation; here’s who will pay
What’s good for central banks isn’t always good for the individuals they are supposed to serve, a lesson likely to come into view even more clearly in the days ahead.
Higher inflation that’s to come will mean still-tough times for savers and retirees, whose money has generated little return since the Fed took over the post-crisis economy.

Alexander Hamilton
1789 - 1795
United States Economic policy has always been a “high wire flying act” even from the countries beginning days as the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution sought to finance their dreams and establish the United States as a nation.  Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and many of today’s economic policies are still based upon Hamilton’s founding practices.  What Hamilton understood and was able to do so well, was finance US debt by using the debt itself as an asset to trade upon.  Sounds crazy right, but it worked and is still being used today.  The real strength of the US economy is that it’s here, it’s strong, it’s growing and it has a good forecast for the future.  The United States is able to do many things with money which no other nation has ever been able to do and will probably never be duplicated!

So how is all of this related to our economy today?  Again we have to return to the INFLATION feature of our economy.  Using WWII as a beginning point for the last inflationary run, the economy grew and expanded until the collapse of the housing bubble of 20007-2012.  During this period of history inflation grew at a steady and moderate rate increasing wages and home values.  Goods and the purchasing power of the dollar kept pace with inflation allowing people to feel a sense of satisfaction because they could see more money coming into their pockets.  

How Much Longer Will the Dollar Be the World’s Reserve Currency?
October 14, 2013

Patrick Barron
Patrick Barron is president of PMG Consulting, LLC and has been a consultant to the banking... (read full bio)
Editor’s note: China’s official press agency in October called for ending the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.  

In an English-language editorial, China’s Xinhua news agency said the world should consider a new reserve currency “that is to be created to replace the dominant U.S. dollar, so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States."

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, with about $1.3 trillion of Treasury bonds in its portfolio. China is also a huge buyer of gold. Some analysts believe China’s government is building gold reserves to create its own gold-backed currency.

This news makes the following commentary, posted Oct. 12 at the Web site, especially timely.
We use the term “reserve currency” when referring to the common use of the dollar by other countries when settling their international trade accounts. For example, if Canada buys goods from China, it may pay China in U.S. dollars rather than Canadian dollars, and vice versa. However, the foundation from which the term originated no longer exists, and today the dollar is called a “reserve currency” simply because foreign countries hold it in great quantity to facilitate trade.

Banker Expresses Fears of Current Fed Policy
May 1, 2013

The first reserve currency was the British Pound Sterling. Because the pound was “good as gold,” many countries found it more convenient to hold pounds rather than gold itself during the age of the gold standard. The world’s great trading nations could hold pounds rather than gold, with the confidence that the Bank of England would hand over the gold at a fixed exchange rate upon presentment.
Toward the end of World War II the U.S. dollar was given this status by international treaty following the Bretton Woods Agreement, with the promise that the Fed would not inflate the dollar and stood ready to exchange dollars for gold at $35 per ounce.

U.S. Called to Account
Unfortunately, the Fed did not maintain that commitment. It was called to account in the late 1960s, and to his everlasting shame, President Richard Nixon took the United States “off the gold standard” in September 1971. Nevertheless, the dollar was still held by the great trading nations, because there was no other currency that could match the dollar, despite the fact that it was “delinked” from gold.
Two characteristics make a currency useful in international trade: One, it is issued by a large trading nation; and, two, it holds its value vis-à-vis other commodities over time.

Although the dollar was being inflated by the Fed, thus losing its value vis-à-vis other commodities over time, there was no real competition. The German Deutsche mark held its value better, but German trade was a fraction of U.S. trade, meaning holders of marks would find less to buy in Germany than holders of dollars would find in the United States. In addition, the United States was seen as the military protector of all the Western nations against the communist countries for much of the postwar period.

Other Monies Being Used
Today we are seeing the beginnings of a change. The Fed has been inflating the dollar massively, causing many of the world’s great trading nations to use other monies upon occasion.

I have it on good authority, for example, that DuPont settles many of its international accounts in Chinese yuan and European euros. There may be other currencies that are in demand for trade settlement by other international companies as well. In spite of all this, one factor that has helped the dollar retain its reserve currency demand is that the other currencies have been inflated, too. For example, Japan has inflated the yen to a greater extent than the dollar in its foolish attempt to revive its stagnant economy by cheapening its currency. The monetary destruction disease is by no means limited to the United States.
The dollar is very susceptible to losing its vaunted reserve currency position by the first major trading country that stops inflating its currency. There is evidence China understands what is at stake; it has increased its gold holdings and has instituted controls to prevent gold from leaving China.

Should the world’s second-largest economy and one of the world’s greatest trading nations tie its currency to gold, demand for the yuan would increase and demand for the dollar would decrease. In practical terms this means the world’s great trading nations would reduce their holdings of dollars, and dollars held overseas would flow back into the U.S. economy, causing prices to rise. How much would they rise? It is hard to say, but keep in mind that there is an equal number of dollars held outside the United States as there are inside the nation.

Yellen’s Dangerous QE Fixation
President Obama’s imminent appointment of career bureaucrat Janice Yellen as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is evidence the U.S. policy of continuing to cheapen the dollar via Quantitative Easing will continue. Her appointment increases the likelihood that the demand for dollars will decline even further, raising the prospect of much higher prices in the United States as demand by trading nations to hold other currencies as reserves for trade settlement increases.

Perhaps only such non-coercive pressure from a sovereign country like China can wake up the Fed to the consequences of its actions and force it to end its Quantitative Easing policy.
Patrick Barron
Patrick Barron is president of PMG Consulting, LLC and has been a consultant to the banking... (read full bio)


The real savings from inflation for most Americans was in the value of their homes.  Let’s say a home purchased in 1950 for $10,000. Dollars and sold in 1970 for $25,000. Dollars gave its owner a healthy $15,000. Dollars of profit.  That’s good inflation, right!  Let’s now say that that a home was purchased in 1990 for $80,000. Dollars.  Because of the collapse in home prices during 2007 this home owner sees his home equity drop and instead of making money with the house, the loan on the home is now more than the home is worth.  Estimates for this home devaluation range between 20% to upwards of 50%.  This is real bad news.  The same rate of inflation caused two different outcomes based on the wave produced by the rise and fall of inflation.

Now that we have written about the general features of inflation we now need to cover another event which affects the US Dollar.  They are loosely referred to as petrodollars.  Because the US dollar is the biggest buyers of the world’s oil, the dollar becomes pegged to world oil prices. Also; many of the worlds oil producing nations prefer to be paid in US Dollars.  In essence; the world is in agreement with the concept of oil being more valuable than gold.  President Nixon in 1971 removed our US currency from the gold standard for many reasons.  

Here is a Wikipedia article explaining the history of this event along with a brief article describing “Petrodollars”. Understanding this event is probably the most important information of this article!  Once we have a clear understanding of the foundation for which  the United States Dollar is based upon then we are able to asses our currency a little better.  It would seem dollars are based upon this simple formula:  US GDP + World Oil Prices = Price of US Dollars and this is divided by the total number of Dollars in circulation! 

Nixon Shock
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nixon Shock was a series of economic measures taken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971 including unilaterally canceling the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold. It helped end the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange, ushering in the era of freely floating currencies that remains to the present day.

In 1944, the Bretton Woods system fixed exchange rates based on the U.S. dollar, which was redeemable for gold by the U. S. government at the price of $35 per ounce. Thus, the United States was committed to backing every dollar overseas with gold. Other currencies were fixed to the dollar, and the dollar was pegged to gold.

For the first years after World War II, the Bretton Woods system worked well. With the Marshall Plan Japan and Europe were rebuilding from the war, and foreigners wanted dollars to spend on American goods - cars, steel, machinery, etc. Because the U.S. owned over half the world's official gold reserves - 574 million ounces at the end of World War II - the system appeared secure.

However, from 1950 to 1969, as Germany and Japan recovered, the US share of the world's economic output dropped significantly, from 35 percent to 27 percent. Furthermore, a negative balance of payments, growing public debt incurred by the Vietnam War and Great Society programs, and monetary inflation by the Federal Reserve caused the dollar to become increasingly overvalued in the 1960s. The drain on US gold reserves culminated with the London Gold Pool collapse in March 1968.

By 1971, America's gold stock had fallen to $10 billion, half its 1960 level. Foreign banks held many more dollars than the U.S. held gold, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to a run on its gold.

By 1971, the money supply had increased by 10%. In May 1971, West Germany was the first to leave the Bretton Woods system, unwilling to devalue the Deutsche Mark in order to prop up the dollar. In the following three months, this move strengthened its economy. Simultaneously, the dollar dropped 7.5% against the Deutsche Mark. Other nations began to demand redemption of their dollars for gold. Switzerland redeemed $50 million in July. France acquired $191 million in gold. On August 5, 1971, the United States 
Congress released a report recommending devaluation of the dollar, in an effort to protect the dollar against "foreign price-gougers". On August 9, 1971, as the dollar dropped in value against European currencies, Switzerland left the Bretton Woods system. The pressure began to intensify on the United States to leave Bretton Woods.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

petrodollar is a United States dollar earned by a country through the sale of its petroleum (oil) to another country. The term was coined in 1973 by Georgetown University economics professor, Ibrahim Oweiss, who recognized the need for a term that could describe the dollar received by petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) in exchange for oil.

The term petrodollar should not be confused with petrocurrency which refers to the actual national currency of each petroleum exporting country.
In addition to the United States petrodollar, a petrodollar can also refer to the Canadian dollar in transactions that involve the sale of Canadian oil to other nations.
Large inflow of petrodollar in a country often has an impact on the value of its currency. For Canada it was shown that an increase of 10% in the price of oil increases the Canadian dollar value versus the US dollar by 3% and vice versa.


Now we turn our attention to the Federal deficit which has been bouncing around the $TRILLION  DOLLAR$ mark.  Many of us may wonder why the government should print more money to pay off the federal deficit?  This could be especially dangerous for economy!  More dollars flooding the world economy could make our currency worthless!  Many of the world’s industrialized nations prefer to be worth less than the US dollar, or another way to say this is, to be under or pegged to US Dollars.  In today’s world however; China is a new and economically powerful player.  The US is not able to predict what the Chinese will do in such an event.  If the United States suddenly prints more money to deal with the deficit it could spark a world wide crises more devastating than the housing collapse of 2007-2012.  A world wide depression could result.

Lets turn our attention now to what we could expect in the Fed printed more Dollars to pay down the deficit.  A weaker Dollar - a Dollar worth less than the value of the currencies for the worlds other industrial nations could signal the begging for more and newer industry in the United States.  More jobs.  We've just painted a scenario which probably could never happen because no matter what, the other industrialized nations will always keep their currencies under the value of the US Dollar.  Interesting stuff to think about! 

This article is only meant to be an introduction to the subject of inflation and how it affects our economy.  People devote their full attention to this subject in their duties for so many professions pertaining to and with economics.  We have really only scratched the surface. As we close out this weeks article we are posting this article from "BloombergBussinessweek". This has been Felicity writing for the "Noodleman Group"!


Volcker, Greenspan, and Bernanke 

Unite for Fed's 100th Birthday
By Peter Coy  December 17, 2013

Fed Chairman Bernanke (center right) stands with former chairmen Greenspan (center left) and Volcker (left) after a ceremony in Washington marking the centennial of the founding of the Federal Reserve.
(Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

There were no balloons or party hats but if you’re a Fed watcher, there was no bigger deal this week than the ceremony on Monday marking the centennial of the Federal Reserve. The audience of roughly 80 people in the Fed’s boardroom on Constitution Avenue in Washington was the biggest gathering of current and former senior Fed officials in the bank’s history, according to the master of ceremonies, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker.
The most interesting part of the afternoon ceremony, which has been posted onYouTube (GOOG), was what former Fed chairmen Paul Volcker (1979-1987) and Alan Greenspan (1987-2006) and current Chairman Ben Bernanke (2006-present) had to say about each other. Their comments were both respectful and revealing.

In 2008 Volcker had seemed to take a shot at Bernanke in a speech about the Fed’s $29 billion emergency loan that year that paved the way for JPMorgan Chase’s(JPM) takeover of Bear Stearns. “The Federal Reserve has judged it necessary to take actions that extend to the very edge of its lawful and implied powers, transcending in the process certain long-embedded central banking principles and practices,” Volcker said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

Volcker, 86, made no mention of that episode on Monday, but he seemed to toss a garland in Bernanke’s direction when he once again mentioned “strong actions, sometimes testing the limits of its legal authority,” but this time added that those actions by the Fed “rested on a sense of integrity—integrity it’s achieved and maintained over the years in the sense that it was able to act free of partisan political passions.”
Alan Greenspan, 87, making scant reference to his predecessor or successor, focused his brief remarks on the biggest one-day collapse in stock prices in U.S. history on Oct. 19, 1987, shortly after he took office. He said “the days that followed that crash were truly frightening.” Interestingly, Greenspan said that the crash itself, in which the Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 23 percent, “is a distant memory of no ongoing interest.” It remains of intense interest to scholars of financial-market instability, who fault Greenspan for putting too much faith in the self-stabilizing properties of markets.
Bernanke, a spritely 60 in his last year on the job, spoke after his elders, referring to them familiarly as “Paul” and “Alan.” He said he keeps in his office a two-by-four length of wood that was mailed to Volcker as part of a protest by builders against his tight-money inflation-fighting policies, which depressed housing demand. He said the wood “communicates some distinctly unfavorable views of high interest rates and their effects.” Of course, with the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent, Bernanke is more often criticized for keeping rates too low, not too high.
STORY: The Volcker Rule Is Tough. It's Complicated. Will It Be Effective?
Under Bernanke’s predecessors. severe financial crises had faded from sight. As Greenspan noted, the 1987 crash had no lasting effects. The Fed perceived its main job as setting interest rates correctly. Bernanke observed, though, that the Fed was born in response to the Panic of 1907. Without mentioning Volcker or Greenspan, Bernanke said, “In response to the Panic of 2008, the Federal Reserve has returned to its roots by restoring financial stability as a central objective alongside the traditional goals of monetary policy.”
The birthday party was a few days early because it wasn’t until Dec. 23, 1913, that President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act. Presumably the Fed didn’t want to wait until nearly Christmas Eve to celebrate.
“BloombergBussinessweek” - $16,394 Trillion - US Debt Ceiling

US Debt Ceiling - $16.394 Trillion in 2013The US debt ceiling limit D-Day is estimated for September 14, 2012. US Debt has now surpassed the size of US economy in 2011-- rated @ $15,064 Trillion.

Statue of Liberty seems rather worried as United States national debt is soon to pass 20% of the entire world's combined economy (GDP / Gross Domestic Product).
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” - Thomas Jefferson

If the national debt would be laid in a single line of $1 bills, it would stretch from Earth, past Uranus.

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