Several important economic factors appear to be moving unfavorably for the US at the moment, both domestically and abroad, and there are increasing indications that America may not be able to orchestrate a global resurgence on its own. Despite encouraging signs of domestic recovery, fundamental structural problems persist in the US economy. The National Debt now exceeds $18 Trillion, the Department of Agriculture confirms that well over 46 million Americans continue on food stamps, and key voices have stepped forward asking for a deeper look at several U.S. economic statistics. Last week long-time Gallup CEO Jim Clinton very boldly drew attention to the government's recent 5.6% unemployment numbers, questioning them as overly optimistic interpretations of data, and noting on CNBC that the percentage of Americans holding full-time jobs is now the lowest in 60 years. Former US Asst. Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts added more to the unemployment conversation recently when he calculated that the true US jobless rate may reach nearly 23% after adding back several categories of workers who have now given up looking for work. Several other media sources including CBS Radio have reported that as many as a record 92 million Americans may now be now functionally unemployed.
Adding to the domestic uncertainty, more pressing issues loom for the US internationally. While the dollar is currently surging in value as a 'safe haven' investment, America faces more than the usual normal number of unsettling issues abroad. From China to Russia to India to Ukraine to Switzerland to Greece to Iran to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, the US may be facing potential developments with both allies and adversaries which could displace the US from its lead role in international finance. The dollar has ruled supreme internationally as the global-standard currency for settlement of most international payments since the 1944 Bretton Woods global economic summit. But the handwriting is on the wall for a change ahead, especially when considering the emergence of Russia, India, China and the other BRICS bloc of countries. We should make no mistake about it, the BRICS countries and many other long-time allies and friends no longer view the US as unwaveringly as they once did. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has since 2012 noted several emerging 'tectonic shifts' in global finance. Much groundwork has been laid in recent years by the BRICS toward a 'tectonic' realignment of the global currency markets and to de-emphasize the dollar as the global currency of choice, especially including settlements for oil. The US has steadily resisted this shift for decades, because allowing the world to bypass the dollar could have profound implications for US influence in the world, as well as in the daily lives of Americans as the cost of imported goods rises.
What are these emerging 'tectonic' developments and where are the current focal points which might result in a global currency realignment and a shift in the dollar's role? Here are a few of the more notable global shifts as the US might see them:
Douglas E. Johnston, Jr., is a C-Level executive with national experience in the core development of five 'best in class' companies in five different industries including Mergers & Acquisitions, Commercial Banking, Nationwide Commercial Real Estate, Consumer Products Manufacturing, and Media / Entertainment.
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