Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

December 21st 2006

PetroDollar peg drives US trade deficit

While the Yuan is currently rising at an annualized rate of 7% against the USD, China continues to earn the brunt of the ire of US politicians, who point to China’s nearly $200 Billion current account surplus. Meanwhile, the oil-exporting nations of the world have largely escaped detection despite their collective trade surplus of $500 Billion, $300 Billion of which can be attributed to Middle Eastern countries. The countries of Gulf Co-operation Council, or GCC (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar), separately link their currencies to the USD, and as the price of oil soared to record highs in 2006, the coffers of these countries expanded proportionately. Many economists are advocating that these countries abandon the peg to the Dollar in favor of a link to a basket of currencies, which would probably favor the Euro.

This seems to be a sensible approach for several reasons. First, the EU represents the region’s biggest trading partner. Second, the USD-peg has constrained the ability of GCC Central Banks to conduct monetary policy, which has contributed to high inflation and overheating economies. Finally, it is rumored that GCC countries will merge their currencies into a common regional currency in 2010, at which point a peg to the USD will become an economic disaster waiting to happen.

Read More: The Petrodollar Peg

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