** Carl Teichrib: One World, One Money


Richard Moore

³The great struggle of history has been for the control over money. It is almost
tautological to affirm that to control the production and distribution of money 
is to control the wealth, resources, and people of the world.²
‹Jack Weatherford, anthropologist and author of The History of Money.


One World, One Money
By Carl Teichrib, Chief Editor

Forcing Change, www.forcingchange.org.

Note: a second edition, complete with endnotes, can be found in the Free 
Articles section of Forcing Change. Both versions are based on the December 2007
Forcing Change feature piece, which contains an expanded historical overview ­ 
including the role of Special Drawing Rights ­ and an examination of Global 
Central Bank scenarios.

³A global economy requires a global currency.²
‹ Paul Volcker, former Chair of the US Federal Reserve.

   ³I fully support a single global currency.²

   Flabbergasted, I waiting for an explanation.

³That way farmers in Africa get the same pay as farmers in North America, and 
workers in Asia would receive the same as their counterparts in Europe and 

HmmmŠan interesting perspective. I asked the gentleman sitting across the lunch 
table; ³Have you ever seriously studied banking or the historical role of 

His response to the negative didn¹t surprise me; after all, wage equality and 
production values are not currency issues per se, albeit currency matters do 
play a role. Much of our lunch hour, therefore, was spent reviewing the 
relationship between money, banking, and power.

This provocative discussion, enjoyed over a steaming bowl of soup, took place at
the annual meeting of a multi-million dollar Christian-based relief 
organization. And the person I was dining with wasn¹t just an interested 
attendee; he was a board member representing a significant regional arm of this 
organization. Granted, he was only one man in a large administrative structure, 
but his decisions ­ combined with other board members ­ impact projects around 
the globe. Thus, I found his supportive statement for a world currency even more
disturbing; here was an individual involved in economic decisions that impacted 
projects around the globe, yet he didn¹t understand what he was asking for.

During the course of our lunch-hour, it was obvious that he had no conception of
the incredible power-shift that would occur under such a scheme ­ a shift that 
would effectively create a global master of untouchable proportions. All he 
could see was an international-sized band-aid solution, ³a single global 
currency,² to address the problem of world poverty.

I replayed this conversation after returning home, perplexed by the ease in 
which a person with the right motives was willing to embrace such a risky global
venture. Turning to the banking and economics section of my library, I thumbed 
through a variety of books and documents in an attempt to wrap my mind around 
this thorny issue. A number of interesting quotes jumped from the pages,

³The great struggle of history has been for the control over money. It is almost
tautological to affirm that to control the production and distribution of money 
is to control the wealth, resources, and people of the world.²

‹Jack Weatherford, anthropologist and author of The History of Money.

³The control of money and credit strikes at the very heart of national 

‹ A.W. Clausen, President of Bank of America, in a response to the suggestion of
a global central bank. [Clausen later became the President of the World Bank].

³Once a nation parts with control of its currency and credit, it matters not who
makes that nation¹s laws.²

‹ W.L. Mackenzie King, [former Prime Minister of Canada].

All of this brings up an interesting question: Does the world need a global 
central bank?  If you want a single world currency, it requires an international
banking structure armed with a monetary policy on a planetary scale. 
Essentially, the requirement for a single global currency is a bank that has 
power over all countries, kindred, and tongues. Former Canadian Member of 
Parliament, Paul Hellyer, criticized this development in 1994, saying that under
such a global currency/banking system ³the interests of citizens, of individual 
countries must be subordinateŠto the interests of international finance.²

³Š[countries] would no longer be able to pursue any kind of
independent policy. Sovereignty over the most powerful of
all economic tools would be turned to an international
monsterŠA world bank run by a world kingship of
international appointees collectively not accountable to
anyone? Heavenly days!²

Unknown to my lunchtime counterpart, the idea of a single global currency has 
been quietly batted around in banking and economist circles since the closing 
days of the Second World War. Over the years this call has increased in 
intensity. Consider some quotes,

1969: ³Let me turn from digging away at the opposition to something more 
positive, and start with the best and worst of international monetary systems. 
The first-best, in my judgment, is a world money with a world monetary 
authority.²‹ Charles P. Kindleberger, [Professor of Economics, MIT], speaking at
a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conference.

1984: ³I have put forward a radical alternative scheme for the next century: the
creation of a common currency for all the industrial democracies with a common 
monetary policy and a joint Bank of Issue to determine that monetary policyŠThis
proposal is far too radical for the near future, but it could provide a Œvision¹
or goal which can guide interim steps...² ‹ Richard N. Cooper [Harvard 
professor], speaking at a Federal Reserved Bank of Boston conference.

1998: ³Šthe transition to a single currency for the entire world could come with
a speed that might surprise many. The world might easily move from having almost
200 currencies today to having one within a decade, and twenty-five years from 
now, historians would wonder why it took so long to eliminate the Babel of 
currencies which existed in the twentieth century.² ‹ Bryan Taylor, Chief 
Economist at Global Financial Data.

2001: ³When VISA was founded twenty-five years ago, the founders saw the world 
as needing a Single Global Currency for exchange. Everything we¹ve done from a 
global perspective has been about trying to put one piece in place after another
to fulfill that global vision.² ‹ Sarah Perry, Director of VISA¹s Strategic 
Investment Program.

2004: ³Šif the global market economy is to thrive over the decades ahead, a 
global currency seems the logical concomitant.² ‹ Martin Wolf, chief economics 
commentator for the Financial Times, former senior economist at the World Bank.

In 2007, the Council on Foreign Relations propelled the idea of a planet-wide 
currency restructuring by publishing an article in it journal, Foreign Affairs, 
titled ³The End of National Currency.² [Note: on the cover of this Foreign 
Affairs issue, the article is titled ³One World, Too Many Monies.²]

Benn Steil, the Director of International Economics at the CFR, wrote that 
national money systems should be abandoned, ³Since economic development outside 
the process of globalization is not longer possibleŠ² Stated even more 
succinctly, ³Monetary nationalism is simply incompatible with globalization.² 
And, ³In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon monetary 
nationalism and abolish unwanted currenciesŠ²

This is quite the leap. To Steil¹s credit, he pinpoints the potential chink in 
the world economy that could lead us towards a new financial arrangement: the 
weakening state of the US dollar at the global level.

Over the decades, the US dollar has become the unquestionable global currency, 
with nations around the world required to hold American greenbacks in order to 
buy and sell in various international markets, especially in relationship to 
petroleum. Steil writes,

³Šthe dollar¹s privileged status as today¹s global money is
not heaven-bestowed. The dollar is ultimately just another
money supported only by faith that others will willingly
accept it in the future in return for the same sort of
valuable things it bought in the past. This puts a great
burden on the institutions of the institutions of the U.S.
government to validate that faith. And those institutions,
unfortunately, are failing to shoulder that burden. Reckless
U.S. fiscal policy is undermining the dollar¹s position even
as the currency¹s role as a global money is expanding.²

Recognizing the possible dollar-value scenario, Steil points to the growing 
concern over China and other ³dollar-rich central banks.² Keep in mind, China 
alone holds over a trillion dollars in reserves, and rumblings from the East 
over liquidating US dollars have started to cause a stir.

Even though Steil doesn¹t ask the question, it becomes painfully obvious: What 
happens if China and other nations ³fear the unbearable lightness of their 
holdings²? What becomes of the world economy if the US dollar is rapidly dumped 
by central banks?

All of this underscores a strategic reality that can be summed up in three 
words: Crisis equals opportunity. As banking mogul A.W. Clausen once said, ³new 
comprehensive politico-economic systems across peoples almost always arise out 
of conquest or common crisisŠ²

Robert Mundell, ³the father of the euro,² and one of the world¹s most respected 
economists, also views crisis as the starting point for change. In a May, 2007 
lecture, Mundell related, ³International monetary reform usual becomes possible 
only in response to a felt need and the threat of a global crisis.²

This Nobel Prize winner also pointed his finger to the possible trigger event, 
saying that the ³global crisis would have to involve the dollar,² and that a 
world currency should be viewed as ³a contingency² to a global dollar disaster.

With a similar crisis in mind, Benn Steil offers what appears to be an 
altruistic solution. In order to avert the crisis, all that nations need to do 
is relinquish sovereignty before the problem become insurmountable.

³Governments must let go of the fatal notion that nationhood
requires them to make and control the money used in their
territory. National currencies and global markets simply do
not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency crisis
and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for
damaging protectionism.²

So how should monetary sovereignty by expunged? Steil candidly asserts that the 
world needs to re-group itself into three regional monetary units: the Dollar, 
the Euro, and a new Asian currency. This proposal mirrors the work of Robert 
Mundell, who has been traveling the globe lecturing on a new international 
monetary unit based on the US dollar, Euro, and Yen. Under Mundell¹s plan these 
three currencies would form the basis of a ³world currency unit² called the DEY,
and the International Monetary Fund would be its manager.

The implementation of Mundell¹s plan may not be too distant as major currency 
blocks, led by Europe¹s success with the euro, are forming in different parts of
the globe. South America, the South Eastern Asian nations, and Africa are all 
looking to create regional currency zones. The Middle East too is going down 
this road. In fact, in 2010, if all goes according to plan, the Gulf Cooperation
Council ­ which is made up of a number of Middle Eastern countries, including 
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia ­ will have their own regional monetary system. And the 
world¹s fastest growing city, Dubai, is located in a key member-nation of the 
GCC, the United Arab Emerites.

North America is also embracing currency integration. For years the concept of a
North American monetary system has cropped up in central banking circles, with 
the Amero as the suggested name for the new continental currency. [See the July 
2007 issue of Forcing Change for a 19-page report on this development]. And if 
not the Amero, then some believe the US dollar should become the tri-national 

In May 1999, economist Judy Shelton suggested the dollarization of North America
to the US House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. Others have 
likewise been examining currency options for the continent, and the momentum 
towards a new regional economic system binding Canada, the US, and Mexico has 
grown in intensity.

But how do regional monetary blocks play into a Single Global Currency? Morrison
Bonpasse, President of the Single Global Currency Association (SGCA), a group of
economists working towards a world currency, answers that question, ³The 
monetary unions of the twenty-first century, and those which survived the 
twentieth, are the milestones on the path to the future, and to the Global 
Monetary Union.²

   Bonpasse elaborates on this point further,

³Thanks to the success of the European and other monetary
unions, we now know how to create and maintain the 3-Gs: a
Global Monetary Union, with a Global Central Bank and a
Single Global Currency.²

  ³The world is ready to begin preparing for a Single Global
Currency, just as Europe prepared for the euro and as the
Arabian Gulf countries are preparing for their common
currency. After the goal of a Single Global Currency is
established by countries representing a significant
proportion of the world¹s GDP, then the project can be
pursued like its regional predecessors.²

Simply put, the regional model becomes the steppingstone to a one-world 
currency. However, the problem of nationalism prevails. Discussing this 
³problem,² Bonpasse writes,

   ³The task can be stated quite simply: how to move from
the current 147 currencies to 1. Developing the political
will to overcome the residual strength of nationalism is the
major challenge for the movement to a 3-G world. As with the
implementation of the euro, the economics and politics of
monetary union are inextricably bound together; and the
logic of both point toward the 3-G world.

The question now is not whether the world will adopt a
Single Global Currency but When? and How smooth,
inexpensive, and planful OR rough, costly and chaotic will
the journey be?² [Italics and capitals in original]

To the internationalist, national sovereignty is the overriding obstacle. In 
order for a Global Central Bank and world currency to exist, some other 
political arrangements will have to be formed. Robert Mundell understood this 
political problem when giving a lecture in 2003 titled, ³The International 
Monetary System and the Case for a World Currency.² His response was frank: ³a 
global single currency could not be achieved without a global government. To 
enforce a single currency would involve big problems of organization.²

But this reality isn¹t stopping the SGCA and others of like mind from 
progressive planning. As Bonpasse asserts, ³It is now time to seriously pursue 
the goal of a Single Global Currency as managed by a Global Central Bank within 
a Global Monetary Union.²

Already the SGCA has a date in mind: 2024. Regarding a headquarters for the 
Global Central Bank, Bonpasse suggests Basel, Zurich, or Geneva. ³Switzerland 
has a reputation for sound money, and locating the GCB in Switzerland just might
be the necessary incentive for that country to join the Global Monetary Union as
a member.²

³The governing structure of the GCB should be relatively
easy to design, given the available, successful models of
the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, International
Monetary Fund, World Bank, United Nations, and associated
organizations such as the World Health Organization. Not
everyone is happy with the structure of all those
organizations, but it¹s a negotiable political questionŠ²

He¹s right: it is a political question. This was evident to Richard Cooper when 
he brought up the idea of a global central bank and currency while at a 1984 
Federal Reserve conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. ³The idea is so far 
from being politically feasible at present ­ in its call for a real pooling of 
monetary sovereignty ­ that it will require many years of consideration before 
people become accustomed to the idea.²

However, even then Cooper advanced a specific timetable to begin taking this 
idea seriously: ³This one-currency regime is much too radical to envisage in the
near future. But it is not too radical to envisage 25 years from nowŠ²

In retrospect, Cooper¹s timing appears fairly accurate: Twenty-five years after 
1984 brings us to 2009, and today the idea of a single global currency is 
starting to gain traction through organizations like the SGCA and through major 
advocates such as Robert Mundell. Moreover, the Bank for International 
Settlements ­ which is viewed as the central bank for the world¹s central 
bankers ­ has publicly considered the potential for a one-world currency built 
around regional groupings.

But will all of this ³help the farmer in Africa,² or bring wage equality to the 
worker¹s of the world?

Probably not: it will, however, give unprecedented powers to an international 
banking cartel, the likes of which has never been seen or experienced before. As
a critic of global banking once wrote, ³Money is money, and banking is banking, 
and neither recognizes any allegiances that don¹t bear compound interest.²

Carl Teichrib, a Canadian-based researcher and writer on globalization, is Chief
Editor of Forcing Change ­ a monthly intelligence journal engaged in analyzing 
and documenting global economic, political, and socio-religious trends. 

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