Will Europe suffer the Swiss Syndrome? What impact on the European and U.S. economies may diversification of central bank reserves into euros have?

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International Economy Diversification of central bank reserves into larger holdings of euros is much in the news these days. Quite apart from the widening U.S. trade and payments deficit, the Iraq war has created a backlash that has led some Arab and Islamic politicians to urge OPEC countries to price and sell their oil in euros and shift their central bank reserves out of their present heavy weighting in dollars. If this were the 1960s, central banks throughout the world would be cashing in their dollar inflows for gold. But since the United States went off gold in 1971, a built-in market for U.S. Treasury bills has emerged as the only practical alternative to gold. The question is whether the central bank market ...

The Coming Financial Reality

An Interview with Economist Michael Hudson for Counterpunch By STANDARD SCHAEFER The war in Iraq is allegedly over, interest rates are going lower and there are rumors of recovery although the economy is still in the doldrums. A Bush is president, but an election is around the corner. It sounds a bit like the recession of 1990-1991. In fact, the recovery from that period, anemic as it was marked by very little growth in employment--was actually stronger than this one. The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% compared to the 2.6% annual rate currently. Except for the 1992 recovery, the last seven economic recoveries were much stronger than this one, and each of them, corresponded with the usual ...