Russia and China have not been secretive about their desire to see the U.S. dollar removed as the world’s reserve currency. In fact, this week the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will be gathering in Russia’s Urals city of Yekaterinburg for their annual talks. Experts feel that the main topic of discussion will be alternatives to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
It has been widely reported that Russia bought a record amount gold in 2014 in order to provide backing for the fading ruble and Russia has continued it’s buying into 2015, despite reports to the contrary. China is also thought to be buying up large amounts of gold in order to strengthen their currency as well. Analysts feel that the intention is to build up enough backing to present their currencies as possible replacements for the U.S. dollar.
However, in order for this to happen, the U.S. dollar will need to be dealt a major blow. USA Today is reporting that both Russia and China have announced that they will be selling off billions of dollars of U.S. Treasuries, potentially the right cross they are hoping will deliver that critical hit.
The article reports that “Russia’s Central Bank says it plans to cut its reserves of U.S. Treasury securities and invest in International Monetary Fund (IMF) bonds instead. About 30% of Russia’s $400 billion worth of hard currency reserves are currently held in U.S. Treasuries.”
Alexey Ulyukaev, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, told a Russian news agency that “We are planning to gradually reduce the share of U.S. Treasuries as a window of opportunity for working with other instruments is opening, and the situation with foreign banks has become clearer.”
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Russian officials have argued for years that the ruble should serve as a regional reserve currency because “the dollar is too unstable.” Perhaps now Russia is quite literally putting its money where its mouth is.
Just before Russia released its statement, Chinese officials had also made comments suggesting a move away from the dollar as the reserve currency for the world, citing the large U.S. budget deficits as the main concern. They too have begun selling off U.S. Treasuries.
It remains to be seen what effect this will have on the value of the U.S. dollar, but it certainly seems that the back-room speculation is now becoming front page news. Many financial experts have suggested for years that gold should be held in a portfolio as a hedge against inflation and a drop in the value of the U.S. dollar. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at the yellow metal and the safe-haven it can offer.