International Finance Discussion Papers (IFDP)
Geopolitics and the U.S. Dollar's Future as a Reserve Currency
I survey the role of geopolitics and sanctions risk in shaping the U.S. dollar's status as the primary currency used for international reserves. Without changes in the economic incentives for holding FX reserves in U.S. dollar assets, an increased threat of sanctions is unlikely to drastically reduce the dollar share of FX reserves. Currently, around three-quarters of foreign government holdings of safe U.S. assets are by countries with some military tie to the U.S. Even a reduced reliance on the U.S. dollar for trade invoicing and debt denomination by a large bloc of countries less geopolitically aligned with the U.S. would be unlikely to end U.S. dollar dominance.
Keywords: Foreign Exchange Reserves, Sanctions, Security Alliances
PDF: Full Paper
Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.