The Dollar as a Reserve Currency

Still number 1 (through 2021Q4), with rising shares to … AUD, CAD, and the CNY…

Figure 1: Share of central bank foreign exchange reserves in USD (teal), dollar share of reserves + 65% of unallocated reserves (dark blue), euro share + 35% of unallocated reserves (pink), and AUD, CAD, and other currencies share (chartreuse), and CNY share (red). Source: IMF annual reports as reported in Chinn-Frankel, COFER and author’s calculations.

More, tomorrow, at the 2022 LaFollette Forum.

Update, 5/8 2pm Pacific:

Presentation slides here.





44 thoughts on “The Dollar as a Reserve Currency

  1. JohnH

    Clearly the dollar still rules the roost. But the times are changing…

    China Calls Out U.S. Dollar Dominance As It Buys Russian Coal With Yuan

    Russian natural gas exports to China jump 60 per cent in first 4 months

    Russia To Supply More Gas To China Via New Pipeline
    (Euro settlement terms will surely be changed.)

    Meanwhile the ruble has been soaring, and Germany’s largest public utility has agreed to pay for natural gas in rubles.

    Sanctions? What sanctions? Methinks the US has overplayed its hand and embarked on yet another pointless and futile war, this time an economic one.

    1. Macroduck

      Methinks you were instructed o criticize U.S. resistance to Russian aggression long ago, and now simply repeat yourself at every opportunity.

      Not that you have the smarts to do more than follow orders.

      1. pgl

        Johnny boy never got around to reading the first paragraph of his first link:

        The first shipments of Russian coal and crude oil, paid for in yuan, will arrive in China in April and May, respectively. Chinese state media used the opportunity to denigrate the United States, claiming that the international status of the U.S. dollar is “at risk.” However, financial expert Albert Song believes that it will not affect the U.S. dollar’s status as the leading global reserve currency.

        Yes – Johnny boy does this a lot.

      2. pgl

        Wait he didn’t read his 2nd link either:

        The agreement for the new pipeline, expected to be operational within three years, will be settled in euros, an industry source in Beijing told Reuters.

        So by 2025 I fully expect Putin’s invasion will have ended in bitter failure. So why do we care if this pipeline becomes operational well after Putin’s war crimes?

    2. pgl

      First of all you clearly have no clue what Reserve Currency even means. And your devotion to Putin the war criminal is beyond disgusting. Get the facts straight – Putin started this horrific war not the US or Ukraine.

      1. JohnH

        I’m not a big fan of the US’ junior high, ‘king of the mountain’ games. I learned something from the intense propaganda of the pointless and futile Vietnam War…reinforced by the highly propagandized, pointless and futile Iraq andAfghanistan Wars.

        Now even the Pope wonders if the US provoked Russia. But not pgl and macroduck, true believers in whatever propaganda is fed them.

        pgl and macroduck learned nothing, and mindlessly cheer ‘our side,’ never asking questions about blowback, costs, or consequences of what could well prove to be yet another pointless and futile war.

        1. pgl

          I’m not cheering any side you lying little troll. I am hoping your boy Putin grows a conscious and ends this senseless slaughter of innocent Ukrainians. But YOU clearly do not care about these people as you are Putin’s pet poodle.

        2. macroduck

          Really? Vietnam? I figured you for barely out of your teens, what wiy the self-righteous harangues and simple-minded outlook. But if you tell me you were around for Vietnam, I’ll take you at your word. It would be a lot less embarrassing for you if you had youth as an excuse, but OK.

          What youth wouldn’t excuse, if you had it as an excuse, is your inability to rub simple facts together and make sense of them. Posting a bunch of links you seem to only half understand and then declaring some rhetorical victory is just sad.

          1. pgl

            I was in my teens back during Vietnam but I still got out and protested. Of course we asked Johnny boy whether he protested and it seems he did not. So all his blah, blah, blah re the Vietnam mistake is Johnny come lately.

          2. JohnH

            Macroduck obviously learned nothing from the Vietnam experience. He could inform himself by watching The War at Home, which documents the protests at UW.

            A major takeaway was how much the government and media lie. Unfortunately, that has not changed, only gotten more sophisticated. What has changed is the government’s ability to suppress dissent. Some people have been locked out of YouTube. Several others have been shut out of twitter. A couple independent media organisations have been locked out of PayPal and had their assets seized. No reason was given, but it is assumed that their reporting on Russia, which differed from the prevailing narrative, was the common denominator.

            This is the kind of censorship that the US condemns Putin for. But here it’s ignored, because it’s private media outlets that do the dirty work. Maybe Elon Musk can change that.

            In the Vietnam era the NY Times happily parroted the government narrative. They sent a reporter to cover a huge UW protest at the state capital. I was there. What the Times reported was a figment of its imagination and misrepresented what the demonstration was all about. Fortunately, Eugene McCarthy came along and challenged LBJ’s BS. (I went out in the cold and snow and knocked on doors for McCarthy.

            Since then the war narratives have parroted the government narrative, sourced largely from “unidentified government sources.” Judith Miller flat out lied about Saddam’s WMDs, and she was the Times star reporter.

            The fact is that most government and infotainment media foreign affairs reporting is propaganda. But pgl and macroduck happily buy into whatever gets reported. pgl claims to have protested Vietnam, but he obviously learned nothing about propaganda and government deception.

          3. baffling

            and in russia, putin is claiming on russian tv that ukraine is full of nazis and he is liberating the country. meanwhile, reporters and protestors in moscow are being jailed. will you pass judgment on putin for those actions, john?

    3. Barkley Rosser


      Your link on Uniper also notes that gas exports to Europe are expected to decline by a third. The 60% increase to China is not going to offset that.

      1. pgl

        JohnH expressed disdain that the US might export LNG to the EU which seems to be what will happen long-term as a result of Putin’s war crimes. But he cheers Russia selling natural gas to China? Go figure. As you point out he has no clue about the numbers or even the timing as one of these deals takes effect 3 years from now when hopefully has given up on destroying Ukraine.

        1. JohnH

          No disdain…I was just pointing out that Germany was increasing its dependence on expensive US LNG and decreasing its dependence on cheapRussian natural gas, a manoeuvre that will hurt the German economy and help the profitability of US LNGcompanies.

          Of course, being an “economist” pgl would be the first to deny that economic self-Interest had anything to to with ginning up another war. As we all know, the US goes to war for freedom, democracy, and human rights, even though the US kills millions in wars like Vietnam and Iraq.

          1. pgl

            ‘Increasing LNG exports were one of Trump’s pet projects, so you can bet pgl and macroduck are ecstatic, even though, as”economists”, they can’t talk about economic self interest trumping free markets!’

            Neither Macroduck nor I are lobbyists for the US LNG sector. That would be your fellow troll Bruce Hall. Pay attention lying troll as we have both hammered village idiot Bruce Hall.

          2. pgl

            JohnH reads a Forbes story that never provided the actual financials for Cheniere Energy but it did say:

            The export industry emerged six years ago when Houston-based Cheniere Energy shipped the first American LNG cargo internationally from its Sabine Pass facility. A year later the US, became a net exporter of natural gas. The shale revolution spurred an enormous increase in drilling and left the US with an excess of natural gas available to liquefy and export. Today, with seven export terminals and capacity expansions at Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG terminals, US peak capacity is expected to reach 13.9 Bcf/d.

            Now JohnH may think this is all about “US LNG company profit” but did he check the 10-K filing for this company? Had he done so, he would have noticed its operating costs have been exceeding its revenue for not just 2021 but the first 3 months of 2022.

            Now we know JohnH is really stupid but OMG – he can’t be bothered to check the actual financials for a company that he thinks is profitable. Yea – he is THAT STUPID.

          3. pgl

            Now I bothered to go to to check the financials for this company but here is a nice way of doing a quick check:


            Yep – operating losses not profits. But its stock valuation is rising so maybe the market expects this leading LNG company to become profitable. But once again – should it not be required of even dumb trolls like JohnH to check the actual damn financials for companies he writes about? It is free information easily accessible – right?

          4. pgl


            Memo to the research challenged JohnH – Forbes sucks at reporting the oil and natural gas sector. Oil Price has a nice discussion of this company’s operating losses as well as its expectations of profits later in the year. JohnH has never been very good at discerning what is happening with any economic issue particularly this one. But that is what he gets for using the Google machine to find titles that make him happy rather than actually do real research.

        2. pgl

          May 4, 2022 at 9:29 pm

          You are one big crybaby. Take some criticism for a damn change and stop LYING about what I may or may not have said in the past.

  2. ltr

    China Calls Out…
    Chinese state media used the opportunity to denigrate…

    [ This is false and importantly, maliciously false. The Yahoo Finance article is drawing on a malicious “cult” for support. The “cult” is wildly antagonistic about China. ]

    1. ltr


      Chinese foreign policy reports do not ever “call out” and “denigrate” other countries. Only a false and malicious report would claim otherwise. Chinese foreign policy is always conducted respectfully of other countries.

      1. AndrewG

        “Chinese foreign policy reports do not ever “call out” and “denigrate” other countries. ”

        Yeah, they just pretend Taiwan isn’t one.

      2. baffling

        but if you kill a bunch of uighers in western china, everything is ok. you are an angel, ltr. at least you are respectful towards the people the ccp murdered in western china.

  3. pgl

    There was the day when the British pound was the premier reserve currency and there used to be talk about the Japanese yen becoming a major reserve currency. Aren’t these two still a small part of this picture?

  4. pgl

    Now that this post about Reserve Currencies was high jacked by Putin’s poodle JohnH to cheerlead for Putin the war criminal, let’s note how Chinese refineries are buying Russian oil at huge discounts from market prices:

    Shameless exploitation of the misery of Ukrainian citizens but ai guess from a Trumpian art of the deal perspective this is “perfect”.

  5. pgl

    Republicans have been working for decades to restrict the rights of women so it is no surprise that they try to divert attention away from the substance of that horrific Alito to spreading all sorts of dirt on who the leaker might be. The dumbest rant has to be this racist clown who argues Ketanji Brown is the likely leaker. Seriously?

  6. pgl

    Mitch Mulvaney wants us to buy his book. Mulvaney was the Trump OMB director that withheld aid to Ukraine on orders from Trump until Zelensky gave Trump dirt on Hunter Biden. But now he is telling us he knew Trump would do terrible things to try to stay in office if Biden won:

    Now it is wonderful that Mitchie knew but then why in hell did this weasel not tell anyone before 1/6/2021? We have way too many tell all books written by toadies and cowards already. NO ONE should spend a dime on this book.

  7. pgl

    Matt Gaetz is a sexist pig who brags about doing teenage prostitutes who get paid by rich creeps who Gaetz does political favors for. So he was not to be undone in terms of writing the most disgusting tweet in light of Alito et al. destroying the rights of women:

    ‘How many of the women rallying against overturning Roe are over-educated, under-loved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches?’

    Hey Matt – those teenage prostitutes do not lover you – they do love the money you got access to by being the most corrupt member of Congress. Then again – no one ever suggested you were educated.

  8. pgl

    Russians protesting against Putin’s war crimes are being threatened with “concentration camps, re-education, sterilization”.

    Karen Shakhnazarov, a Russian filmmaker and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, warned that Russia may use concentration camps and severe forms of punishment for those who oppose the pro-war rhetoric. Speaking on the Rossiya 1 television channel, the filmmaker warned that opponents of the war could face punishments as serious as concentration camps and sterilization. “The opponents of letter Z must understand that if they are counting on mercy, no, there will be no mercy for them,” he said. “It’s all become very serious, in [this] case it means concentration camps, re-education, sterilization. This is very serious.”

    Putin and his allies are seriously sick,


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