Friday, November 4, 2016

The IMF Launches Advisory Group to Study Expanded Role for the SDR

A thank you to Jim Rickards for posting this link on his twitter feed. It is to a release from the IMF announcing they have now started the project to look at a possible expanded role for the SDR in the global monetary system. Of course, Jim has long predicted that there will be an expanded role in the future for the SDR. Below I have pasted in the full IMF release and then some added comments.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) started discussions on the role of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) and its potential contribution to strengthen the international monetary system with an External Advisory Group (EAG) last week.
The discussions—held via conference call—centered around identifying weaknesses in the international monetary system that the SDR could help address through any one of its three functions—(i) the official SDR, the reserve asset issued and administered by the IMF; (ii) SDR-denominated financial market instruments, which could be both issued and held by any parties; and (iii) the SDR as a unit of account.
The EAG was established by the IMF as it undertakes an assessment of whether and how a broader role for the SDR could contribute to the smooth functioning of the international monetary system by helping address gaps or market failures. The EAG is convened by Maurice Obstfeld, the Economic Counsellor and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund, and includes:
  • Claudio Borio, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements;
  • Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley;
  • Yiping Huang, Professor, National School of Development, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University;
  • Isabelle Laurent, Deputy Treasurer and Head of Funding, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
  • José Antonio Ocampo, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia University;
  • Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics, London Business School;
  • Zoeb Sachee, Head of Euro Government and SSA Trading, Citigroup;
  • Catherine Schenk, Professor of International Economic History, University of Glasgow;
  • Edwin Truman, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, and;
  • Beatrice Weder di Mauro, Johannes Gutenberg Chair of International Macroeconomics, University of Mainz and Distinguished Fellow in residence, INSEAD Singapore.

My added comments: I have featured articles and presentations by the people noted in bold type above here on the blog. Claudio Borio (BIS) has been an outspoken advocate of the need to look at possible changes in the global monetary system. Catherine Schenk authored this paper in 2011 which looked at the idea of adding gold to the valuation basket for the SDR. Jim Rickards has spoken of Edwin Truman as being a key expert on the SDR.

With the inclusion of Catherine Schenk and Yiping Huang from Peking University, I suspect there will be speculation about this group looking at some kind of gold backing for the SDR. However, the stated objective for this group is to look at whether the current role of the SDR can be expanded with no mention of any change to the valuation basket being considered.

Added note: SWIFT announces improved tie to the Chinese Renminbi

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