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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Internationalization of the renminbi is inevitable but will take time

Monday, August 08, 2011

By Dr Yang Tao, chief economist at the publication, China’s Economy & Policy, and director general of research base for industrial finance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In the 1960s, as a consequence of the sterling crisis, US monetary policy and the cold war, a large amount of US dollar assets moved into European banks. This confluence of factors helped establish the offshore market for US dollars known as the Eurodollar market. Centred in London, this huge market propelled London to the position of the world’s leading financial centre, and it also had a profound impact on maintaining the special status of the US dollar in the international monetary system.

The emergence of the US dollar offshore market in London also laid the foundation for subsequent financial liberalization and innovation. On the surface, its formation seems to have been a smart choice for the European and American banking giants; in fact, it was also a reflection of national policy in the US and Western Europe, especially with respect to changes in the attitude towards capital controls at home and abroad.

Half a century later, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, the financial vitality of both Wall Street and London has suffered a heavy blow, and international investors have been left feeling helpless about the weak US dollar and dissatisfied with the established international monetary system. In this context, the recovery of the Chinese economy has received a great......................

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