Another central banker admits the truth about the US dollar

By Simon Black – November 28, 2023

On March 20, 1602, after a few years of painstaking negotiations, a deal was struck amid the cobblestone streets and legendary waterways of Amsterdam that changed the world of finance forever.

The Dutch Republic (as it was known back then) was already a major economic power in the early 1600s; Dutch merchants boasted enormous fleets of thousands of ships and lucrative trading posts around the world. Money was pouring in to the economy.

But at the same time, competition was fierce. England, Spain, Portugal, etc. all wanted in on the vast wealth that Dutch merchants were minting from the spice trade.

So in an effort to fend off international competition, Dutch traders unified their operations; merchants in Amsterdam merged in 1601. And, the following March, the remainder of the country’s prominent merchants joined.

They called their new venture the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC); it is known to history as the Dutch East India Company.

What made VOC so innovative is that investors could buy shares in the company, and hence enjoy a piece of the profits proportionate to the number of shares they owned.

But on top of that, they also launched a stock exchange… creating a secondary market where investors could buy or sell shares of VOC.

This was game changing.

These innovations by themselves were not new; other ‘joint-stock’ companies had been formed in the past. And other rudimentary financial exchanges had already been in existence.

But the Dutch put the two together, combining a major business enterprise with a formalized stock exchange. It had never been done before… and the idea marked the beginning of the country’s economic dominance, known as the Dutch Golden Age.

Naturally, as the Dutch Republic became Europe’s most powerful economy, its currency– a gold coin known as the guilder– became the unofficial reserve currency around the world.

From Eastern Europe to Japan, Indonesia, and parts of India, traders often exchanged goods and services for Dutch guilders because they had confidence that the coins would be universally accepted.

And the guilder’s status as a de facto reserve currency lasted for centuries.

But history is very clear that no empire, and no reserve currency, lasts forever.

Eventually the dominance of the Dutch republic was displaced by the British Empire, and the guilder by the British pound. Britain, in turn, was eventually displaced by the United States and the US dollar.

But only someone willfully ignorant of history would believe that America’s and the dollar’s dominance will last forever.

And this should hardly be a controversial assertion anymore.

Politicians within US government have routinely demonstrated an outrageous level of pettiness, incompetence, and the inability to solve even the most basic problems.

They have absolutely no control over abhorrent deficit spending. They go into debt to pay people to NOT work. They ignore downgrades of their sovereign credit rating. And they actually cheer themselves when the deficit is “only” $2 trillion.

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