Yuan to Join IMF

Next year, China’s renminbi (A.K.A. yuan) will join the U.S. dollar, euro, yen, and pound, when it is added to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket – a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset that is defined and maintained by the IMF. It will become the third weightiest currency in the basket. After the renminbi is added, the U.S. dollar will comprise 42 percent of the basket (unchanged from 2010). The euro will be 31 percent (down from 37 percent in 2010). The renminbi will be 11 percent. The Japanese yen will be 8 percent (down from 9 percent in 2010). The British pound will be 8 percent (down from 11 percent).

Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde said:

“The Executive Board's decision to include the RMB in the SDR basket is an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global financial system. It is also a recognition of the progress that the Chinese authorities have made in the past years in reforming China’s monetary and financial systems. The continuation and deepening of these efforts will bring about a more robust international monetary and financial system, which in turn will support the growth and stability of China and the global economy.”

So, is the renminbi likely to give the U.S. dollar a run for its money? Not any time soon, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Over the next 50 years, they gave China about a 34 percent chance of challenging the dollar. One said, “To match the dollar’s appeal, China will need markets as deep as those in the U.S. and to produce economic indicators that are trustworthy.”

Think About It

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.”

--Mahatma Gandhi, Former leader of the Indian independence movement

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