(Nov 19, 2013)
The anticipated announcement by the United Nations this week that it will license the minting of silver and gold bullion coins bearing the UN logo may be the button that launches metal prices into orbit.
In its wide-ranging preview, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) stated that the system of currencies and international banking practices within today’s economies were inadequate, and responsible for the present economic crisis. The report advocates that the present monetary system, wherein the dollar acts as the global reserve currency, be re-examined “with urgency”.
The UNCTAD Report was the first time a major multinational institution had forwarded such a suggestion or measure, although a number of countries, including Russia and Brazil have supported replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. China’s central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan has mentioned that the dollar could become a basket of currencies instead.
The UN commission dismissed such a widening, saying a multiple-country system “may be equally unstable, and not transparent.”
The panel is seeking more monetary balance for developing countries, and a means for them to retain their reserves and domestic savings independent of foreign agencies and arrangements.
Panel Chair US economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economics laureate, has made plain that there was “a growing consensus that there are problems with the dollar reserve system. Developing countries are lending the United States trillions dollars at almost zero interest rates when they have huge needs themselves,” Stiglitz stated.
“It’s indicative of the nature of the problem. It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States, a form of foreign aid.”
A report contributor, Detlef Koffe, concluded that “Supplementing the dollar with a bullion currency would solve some of the problems related to the potential of countries running large deficits and would help stability,”
US Fed spokesperson Elliot Friedman acknowledged that there could be some strong reaction in the US to the global currency, and that it would “…be viewed as a step toward a New World Order. But those same people have probably lost patience with the money-changers as well.”
He clarified that he would “…nonetheless anticipate that the western currencies will continue to depreciate, given Asia’s ascendancy in trade and manufacturing, to find their own value and enable their economies to compete. This is a UN perogrative we cannot and should not control, it’s returning to what we had with Bretton-Woods.”
The UN decided to provide a “public option” savings currency, whereby currency mints will be licensed to mint two kinds of bullion coins the size of the 1€ coin – the Uno (silver ~$5) and the Oro (gold, ~$500). The names were adopted from the book “The Humanist”, which foresees the UN being better funded by 2015 via its licensing fees, expected to be 10-15%.
The coins have a marker chemical in them that enables their authentication and issuance by modified institutional ATM and exchange processors, currently in Europe, to be distributed globally. Any licensee mint, public or private, can produce such bullion coinage under contract. The United Nations is doing no more than what most countries do already, except that the value of its coins will reflect their bullion weight.
Armand Dufour of the European Bank welcomes their introduction. “People have enough Fiat currency options, government and banks cannot intrude on bullion coins – they will have their own inviolable value.”
He does have one concern, however. “If we see a dismounting from the US dollar, as is inevitable in the main view, there will be a strong move to the Oro, which may drive its price up to the point where governments will not allow its circulation; they will try to isolate it.”
“That’s when the fun begins.” he said.©UNICs 2013 (Reprinted from UN Today)