This article is part of a one year, work related project, on my research and investigation on the history of money. My motivation on this project was influenced by the many counseling clients who were seeking assistance and treatment for their compulsive behaviors and beliefs around money which included problem gambling, fraud, embezzlement, theft and extortion.
After several months of research I was introduced to the petrodollar system, which as an American citizen, living in Australia for the past 15 years was quite surprising and I quickly understood this was certainly not a topic that makes it’s way out of Washington circles too often. The mainstream media rarely, if ever, discusses the inner workings of the petrodollar system and how it has motivated, and even guided, America’s foreign policy in the Middle East for the last several decades.
Here is a “Brief Historical Overview” that aims to assist for better understanding:
💰In the final days of World War II, 44 leaders from all of the Allied nations met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in an effort to create a new global economic order. With much of the global economy decimated by the war, the United States emerged as the world’s new economic leader. The relatively young and economically nimble U.S. served as a refreshing replacement to the globe’s former hegemon: a debt-ridden and war-torn Great Britain.
💰In addition to introducing a number of global financial agencies, the historic meeting also created an international 💵 gold-backed monetary standard which relied heavily upon the U.S. Dollar. Initially, this dollar system worked well. However, by the 1960’s, the weight of the system upon the United States became unbearable.
💰On August 15, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon shocked the global economy when he officially ended the international convertibility from U.S. dollars into gold, thereby bringing an official end to the Bretton Woods arrangement.
💰Two years later, in an effort to maintain global demand for U.S. dollars, another system was created called the petrodollar system.
💰 In 1973, a deal was struck between Saudi Arabia and the United States in which every barrel of oil purchased from the Saudis would be denominated in U.S. dollars. Under this new arrangement, any country that sought to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia would be required to first exchange their own national currency for U.S. dollars. In exchange for Saudi Arabia’s willingness to denominate their oil sales exclusively in U.S. dollars, the United States offered weapons and protection of their oil fields from neighboring nations, including Israel.
💰 By 1975, all of the OPEC nations had agreed to price their own oil supplies exclusively in U.S. dollars in exchange for weapons and military protection. This petrodollar system, or more simply known as an “oil for dollar ” system, created an immediate artificial demand for U.S. dollars around the globe. And of course, as global oil demand increased, so did the demand for U.S. dollars.
💰As the U.S. dollar continued to lose purchasing power, several oil-producing countries began to question the wisdom of accepting increasingly worthless paper currency for their oil supplies. Today, several countries have attempted to move away, or already have moved away, from the petrodollar system. Examples include Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea… or the “axis of evil,” if you prefer. (What is happening in our world today makes a whole lot of sense if you simply read between the lines and ignore the “official” reasons that are given in the mainstream media.) Additionally, other nations are choosing to use their own currencies for oil like China, Russia, India, among others.
💰As more countries continue to move away from the petrodollar system which uses the U.S. dollar as payment for oil, we expect massive inflationary pressures to strike the U.S. economy. In this article, we will explain how this could be possible.
The Coming Collapse of the Petrodollar System
When historians write about the year 1944, it is often dominated with references to the tragedies and triumphs of World War II. And while 1944 was truly a pivotal year in one of history’s most devastating conflicts of all time, it was also a significant year for the international economic system. In July of that same year, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference (more commonly known as the Bretton Woods conference) was held in the Mount Washington hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The historic gathering included 730 delegates from 44 Allied nations. The aim of the meeting was to regulate the war-torn international economic system.
During the three week conference, two new international bodies were established.
• The International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, later known as the World Bank)
• The International Monetary Fund
In addition, the delegates introduced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, later known the World Trade Organization, or WTO.) More importantly, for our purposes here, another development that emerged from the conference was a new fixed exchange rate regime with the U.S. Dollar playing a central role. In essence, all global currencies were pegged to the U.S. Dollar.
At this point, an appropriate question to be asking yourself is: ‘’Why would all of the nations be willing to allow the value of their currencies to be dependent upon the U.S. Dollar?”
The answer is quite simple.
The U.S. Dollar would be pegged at a fixed rate to gold.
💰 This made the U.S. dollar completely convertible into gold at a fi xed rate of $35 per ounce within the global economic community. This international convertibility into gold allayed concerns about the fixed rate regime and created a sense of financial security among nations in pegging their currency’s value to the dollar.
💰After all, the Bretton Woods arrangement provided an escape hatch: if a particular nation no longer felt comfortable with the dollar, they could easily convert their dollars holdings into gold. This arrangement helped restore a much needed stability in the financial system. But it also accomplished one other very important thing. The Bretton Woods agreement instantly created a strong global demand for U.S. dollars as the preferred medium of exchange. And along with this growing demand for U.S. Dollars came the need for… a larger supply of dollars.
• Are there any obvious benefits from creating more dollars?
• And if so, who benefits?
💰First, the creation of more dollars allows for the infl ation of asset prices. In other words, more dollars in existence allows for a rise in overall prices. For example, imagine for a moment if the U.S. economy had a total money supply of only $1 million dollars. What if, in this imaginary economy, I attempted to sell you my home for $2 million dollars? While you may like my home, and may even want to buy it, it would be physically impossible for you to do so. And it would
be completely absurd for me to ask for $2 million because, in our imaginary economy, there is only $1 million in existence. So an increase in the overall money supply allows asset prices to rise. But that’s not all. The United States government benefits from a global demand for U.S. dollars.
Because a global demand for dollars gives the Federal government a “permission slip” to print more. After all, we can’t let our global friends down, can we? If they “need” dollars, then let’s print some more dollars for them. Is it a coincidence that printing dollars is the U.S. government’s preferred method of dealing with our nation’s
The governments can only finance their spending in four basic ways:
- Increase income by raising taxes
- Cut spending by reducing benefi ts
- Borrow money
- Print money (Federal Reserve)
💰Raising taxes and making meaningful spending cuts can be political suicide. Borrowing moneyis a politically convenient option but you can only borrow so much. That leaves the final option of printing money.
💰Printing money requires no immediate sacrifice and no spending cuts. It’s a perfect solution for a growing country that wants to avoid making any sacrifices. However, printing more money than is needed can lead to inflation.
💰Therefore, if a country can somehow generate a global demand for its currency, it has a “permission slip” to print more money. Understanding this “permission slip” concept will be important as we continue.
💰Finally, the primary benefi ciary of an increased global demand for the U.S. Dollar is America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve. (If this does not make immediate sense, then pull out a dollar bill from your wallet or purse and notice whose name is plastered right on the top of it.)
Have you ever asked yourself why the U.S. Dollar is called a Federal Reserve Note?
The answer is simple.
💰The U.S. Dollar is issued and loaned to the United States government by the Federal Reserve. Because our dollars are loaned to our government by the Federal Reserve, which is a private central banking cartel, the dollars must be paid back. And not only must the dollars be paid back to the Federal Reserve. They must be paid back with interest!
💰And who sets the interest rate targets on the loaned dollars? The Federal Reserve, of course.
💰 To put it simply, the Federal Reserve has a clear vested interest in maintaining a stable and growing global demand for U.S. Dollars because they create them and then earn profi t from them with interest rates which they set themselves. What a great system the Federal Reserve has for itself. No wonder it hates oversight and intervention. No wonder the private banking cartel that runs the Federal Reserve despises all attempts to actually audit its books.
In summary, the American consumer, the Federal government, and Federal Reserve all benefit to varying degrees from a global demand for U.S. Dollars.
To be continued :
Article 2 will be published within the next 5 days.