The Global Crisis and the Future of the Dollar: Toward Bretton Woods III?
This paper investigates the United States dollar's role as the international currency of choice as a key contributing factor in critical global developments that led to the crisis of 2007-09, and considers the future role of the dollar as the global economy emerges from that crisis. It is argued that the dollar is likely to retain its hegemonic status for a few more decades, but that United States spending powered by public rather than private debt would provide a more sustainable motor for global growth. In the process, the "Bretton Woods II" regime depicted by Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber (2003) as sustainable despite featuring persistent U.S. current account deficits may turn into a "Bretton Woods III" regime that sees U.S. fiscal policy and public debt as "minding the store" in maintaining U.S. and global growth.
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