Pundits have been saying last rites for the dollar’s global dominance since the 1960s – that is, for more than half a century now. But the pundits may finally be right, because the greenback’s dominance has been sustained by geopolitical alliances that are now fraying badly.
China’s finance ministry was technically correct when it reacted to a sovereign debt rating downgrade in May by saying the debts of local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) and state-owned enterprises would not swell the government’s contingent liabilities.
Dumping U.S. bonds is not really an option for any country holding major positions. To the extent that the number of bonds the United States sells is a problem—and it is a problem—it is not because it gives others leverage over America. It is because it is reflective of decades of out-of-control spending, which must be addressed for the sake of the country’s long-term economic health.