Stiglitz Calls for New Global Reserve Currency to Prevent Trade Imbalances

Monday, April 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

By John Detrixhe and Sara Eisen
Bloomberg.com

The world economy needs a new global reserve currency to help prevent trade imbalances that are reflected in the national debt of the U.S., said Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
A “global system” is needed to replace the dollar as a reserve currency and help avoid a weakening of U.S. credit quality, said Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York. The dollar fell to an almost 15-month low against the euro last week, and the U.S. trade deficitwidened more than forecast in January to the highest level in seven months.

“By taking off the burden of any single country, we don’t have to have trade deficits,” Stiglitz said in an interview in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. “Things would be much worse if it were not the case that Europe was having even more of a problem, but winning a negative beauty pageant is not the way to create a strong economy.”

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders negotiated a last-minute deal two nights ago to avert a government shutdown. Within weeks, the government may be forced to increase the $14.3 trillion federal debt ceiling to ensure the U.S. will meet its financial obligations.

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