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The Unloved World Dollar Standard: Greenspan-Bernanke Bubbles in the Global Economy

Trade and Migration

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy at the center of the world dollar standard has a first-order impact on global financial stability. However, except in moments of international crises, the Fed focuses inward on domestic American economic indicators and generally ignores collateral damage from its monetary policies in the rest of the world. But this makes the U.S. economy less stable. Currently, ultra-low interest rates on dollar assets ignite waves of hot money into Emerging Markets by carry traders that generate bubbles in international primary commodity prices and other assets. These bubbles burst when some accident at the center, such as a banking crisis, causes a reflux of the hot money. Ironically, these near-zero interest rates hold back investment in the American economy itself.

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Ronald McKinnon
Publication Date
April, 2014