A new world of currency disorder looms

At the end of January, Russia held foreign currency reserves worth US$469 billion. This hoard was born of the prudence taught by its 1998 default and, hoped Vladimir Putin, also a guarantee of its financial independence. But, as his "special military operation" in Ukraine began, he learnt that more than half of his reserves were frozen. His enemies' currencies ceased to be usable money. This action is not only significant for Russia. A targeted demonetisation of the world's most globalised currencies has big implications.

Money is a public good. A global money - one that people rely upon in their cross-border transactions and investment decisions - is a global public good. But the providers of...


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