IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Global Imbalances and the Key Currency Regime: The Case for a Commodity Reserve Currency


  • Leanne Ussher


This paper considers Kaldor's 1964 proposal for a commodity reserve currency (CRC) as a serious alternative to the current system, which has the US dollar as the world reserve currency. It argues that the reserve-currency status of the US dollar helped to create global imbalances and financial fragility pre-empting the current crisis. The primary goal of the CRC was to resolve the 1960 Triffin dilemma, which remains a problem today. Following a brief history of alternative monetary reform proposals, the CRC is outlined. Backed by a basket of 30 or so commodities, the CRC would fix their price index in terms of the international reserve and reduce the disorderly swings in individual commodity prices. Sovereign governments would be free to fix or float their national currencies to the CRC. With growing fears over global warming and national resource security, particularly in the world's poorest countries, the introduction of a CRC could reduce supply constraints, stabilize costs of production, promote global effective demand from the periphery and balance growth between periphery and core countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Leanne Ussher, 2009. "Global Imbalances and the Key Currency Regime: The Case for a Commodity Reserve Currency," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 403-421.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:403-421
    DOI: 10.1080/09538250903073461

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Spotlight G-20: We Need an International Commodity Reserve Currency
      by Triplecrisis in triple crisis on 2010-11-04 18:00:17


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2013:v:39i:4p:485 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. J. E. King, 2013. "A Brief Introduction to Post Keynesian Macroeconomics," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 39(4), pages 485-508.
    3. John Edward King, 2016. "Nicholas Kaldor after thirty years," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 69(277), pages 107-277.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:403-421. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.