$105 per barrel oil. Cotton prices at record levels. Food prices at 2008 highs. Typically, such commodity price increases would send central banks running to the U.S. Dollar to secure the value of their savings. After all, the dollar has been the reserve currency since World War I.
But not this time.
Central banks are shedding dollars [DXC1 76.40 -0.085 (-0.11%) ] , reducing their holdings by about $9 billion in previous quarter, according to Nomura Securities’ Jens Nordvig, global head of G10 FX Strategy.
Glen Perkins delivers copies of the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget to the Senate Budget Committee hearing room in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. President Barack Obama will send Congress a $3.7 trillion budget that would reduce deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade, setting up a battle with Republicans who have already deemed the plan insufficient to reduce federal debt. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
It’s been nearly 80 years since the U.S. stopped using gold coins as legal currency, and nearly 40 since the world abandoned the gold standard, but the precious metal could be making a comeback in the United States — beginning in Utah.
The Utah House was to vote as early as Thursday on legislation that would recognize gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as legal currency in the state.
The coins would not replace the current paper currency but would be used and accepted voluntarily as an alternative.
The legislation, which has 12 co-sponsors, would let Utahans pay their taxes with gold and also calls for a committee to study alternative currencies …
Underemployment surged to 19.9% in February from 18.9% at the end of January
by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist
PRINCETON, NJ — Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, hit 10.3% in February — up from 9.8% at the end of January. The U.S. unemployment rate is now essentially the same as the 10.4% at the end of February 2010.
The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work worsened considerably in February, increasing to 9.6% of the workforce from 9.1% at the end of January. A larger percentage of the U.S. workforce is working part time and wanting full-time work now than was the case a year ago (9.3%).
Underemployment Surges in February
Underemployment, a measure that combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with …
For decades the dollar has served as the world’s main reserve currency, but, argues Barry Eichengreen, it will soon have to share that role. Here’s why—and what it will mean for international markets and companies.
The single most astonishing fact about foreign exchange is not the high volume of transactions, as incredible as that growth has been. Nor is it the volatility of currency rates, as wild as the markets are these days.
Instead, it’s the extent to which the market remains dollar-centric.
Consider this: When a South Korean wine wholesaler wants to import Chilean cabernet, the Korean importer buys U.S. dollars, not pesos, with which to pay the Chilean exporter. Indeed, the dollar is virtually the exclusive vehicle for …
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures closed at a record high and silver futures advanced to a fresh three-decade high on Tuesday as simmering tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, along with fears of inflation, drew investors to the metals.
Gold for April delivery (GCJ11 1,432, +21.90, +1.55%) added $21.30, or 1.5%, to $1,431.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold’s gains picked up after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the increase in inflation from rising commodities prices will be modest and temporary.
Adam Klopfenstein, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago, said inflation-based gold trades …