Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taking-up CO2e-certificates in the Special Drawing Rights basket of the IMF's Sven AERTS has discussed this with IUCN's Ignace Schops – Winner Goldman Prize 2008 and manager in during Greenweek 2010, the open doors of the DG Environment of the European Commission. The first day of the Greenweek 2010 had a full day on the creation of a Biodiversity Certificate Trading System, inspired by the successes of the CO2e-Emission Trading System.
The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Its value is based on a basket of four key international currencies, and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. With a general SDR allocation that took effect on August 28 and a special allocation on September 9, 2009, the amount of SDRs increased from SDR 21.4 billion to SDR 204 billion (equivalent to about $308 billion, converted using the rate of August 31, 2010).

Probably you've heard that some of the largest (central) banks, financiers institutions and private fortunes want to reduce their reserves of USA $'s.  Mainly because other currencies from the rising powers are evaluated as less prone to a crash and inflation.

Around 2008, the USA has a public debt as % of GDP of about 180%.  In Japan and Germany it was around 60%, which was also one of the EU's criteria for member states to participate in the Euro in 2001.  Holding reserves of foreign currency, helps to strengthen ones own economy.  It indicates the country produces goods and services that other countries want to buy.  Imagine one is the People's Republic of China.  A lot of Europeans, Asians and Americans want to buy goods they have invented and designed but are e.g. produced in China. These have to be paid in Chinese Yuan's, so Europeans have to give Euro's to the Chinese Central Bank in exchange of Yuans and then the Europeans can pay the Chinese products, idem for the North-Americans. China is thus sitting on large reserves of Euro's and USA $.  Since the USA's public debt as % of GDP is about 180% versus 60% for the EU, the Chinese Central Bank and Financiers, of course want to reshuffle these quantities, they prefer to sell some of their USA $, just in case there would be a run against the USA $.  The financial crises that started in the USA in 2008, indicated the USA $ might be over-valuated, meaning the USA is not producing as much useful products and services as thought.  The USA $ is often used in certain financiers mids to express the price or value of goods and services, e.g. the price of crude oil, is often.

Map of countries by foreign currency reserves and gold minus external debt 
based on 2009 data from CIA Factbook

Ever wondered how, when and why the money you have in your wallet is created?

When explaining how CO2e-certificates are created, one quickly falls in the analogies to how fossil economy currencies are created: USA $, ¥, €, Indian Rupees, the  Renminbi with principal unit the Yuam of the People's Republic of China (United States of China) , Russian ruble, ...
And I find myself explaining to (sub)top-people in the financial sector how "money" is created, the history of money, the challenge to make unforgeable money, value carriers, the role of art as a value carrier, Low Carbon Economy Art and art investment projects, the purpose of Foreign Exchange Reserves, the purpose of the Stock Exchange and the Commodities Exchange and how it brings stability and links sector losses with profits of a related sector but also the abuses and what it is not made for, the usefulness of money the good and bad.

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