Economic historian Niall Ferguson warns that China’s love affair with the dollar is fading faster than anyone realises.
TechTicker: “The idea they don’t have anywhere else to go or would shoot themselves in the foot if there were a steep decline in the dollar or appreciation of their currency reassures many people in Washington ‘we can relax’,” he says. “An appreciation of the renminbi may reduce value of their international reserves but increases the value of every other asset the Chinese own,” most notably the commodity assets they have been buying all over the world.
China’s “current strategy is to diversify out of dollars and into commodities,” Ferguson says. Furthermore, China’s recent pact with Brazil to conduct trade in their local currencies is a “sign of the times.”
Perhaps most importantly, China’s massive stimulus program is helping to generate internal consumption in the People’s Republic, meaning local manufacturers are less dependent on exports. Because of the “rapid growth” of Chinese domestic consumption, Ferguson predicts China’s international trade surplus could be gone by next year.