WHATEVER happened to the idea of Asian monetary cooperation and of an Asian common currency, dreams that appear to have drifted beyond reach or even contemplation in recent years? Has this "brief candle" (to quote Shakespeare) been "snuffed out" by the icy winds of Sino-Japanese rivalry?
It seems it has, judging from reactions to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) decision to include the renminbi alongside the yen in its quasi global reserve currency known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Some term the IMF move "symbolic" of the renminbi's rise, but it also symbolises the fall of regional cooperation.
The dollar remains almighty within the "fiat" currency of the SDR, as does the euro...