Do you really think the US will dilute their power in the IMF, knowing that it could hurt them financially in the long run?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Russia made a statement from its Central Bank that they will begin to diversify their reserves, totaling around 400 Billion US Dollar in value, by liquidating some of its US Dollar based assets in exchange for IMF issued bonds. Now, if this were to be taken seriously, rather than political banter meant to rock the financial world, Russia would have to explain a few things. Forex online traders,(while this did affect the trading a bit) need to look at the hard facts before jumping ship on the USD, and take the Russian declaration for what it is - just a hype, nothing more.

First, the US is issuing over 2 Trillion Dollars of new debt in 2009, and they already have closed to 11 Trillion already issued. Of Russia’s 400 Billion in reserves, only 30% are in actual US Dollar securities - cash and bonds - so even if Russia were to diversify their dollar holdings, the 120 Billion US Dollars they are holding would not even crack the surface of the overall US debt market. Second, and this is the most important one, at last check, the IMF does not have the authority to issue bonds just yet. While they are talking about it, it has not been implemented yet, so if Russia were to swap their dollars for IMF backed securities, they first need the IMF to implement the program, which as anyone familiar with large bureaucracies knows this could take years upon years.

Now, just today, the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) announced that they too would like to diversify and buy IMF bonds. But here is the real deal - the IMF is governed by countries with “voting rights” in the IMF, and this is the breakdown: Brazil has a 1.38% say, Russia has a 2.69% say, India has a 1.89% say and China has a 3.66% say. The US holds a 16.77% say in what goes on in the IMF – they have so much power there, that anytime the Chairmanship comes up, it is the US which has the pick to fill the vacancy.

So with this, let me ask you in Forex Online land: do you really think the US will dilute their power in the IMF, knowing that it could hurt them financially in the long run? Considering that the US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is a former IMF head, even with all the changes that Obama has been making, I doubt highly that you will see IMF debt issues anytime soon. Power begets power, and while the US is in financial straits, I doubt they will readily give up some of that power if it will end up hurting them even more down the road.


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