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Extensive reports had been written recently period that the IMF is preparing to have its first bond issue in order to raise as much as $500 billion to help the emerging economies avoid a collapse.
The amount of money that the IMF intends to raise can be compared to the GDP of the 80 poorest countries in the world; that too reaches $500 billion. However, much of the $500 billion needed will come from credit lines from the major economies, with the remaining being funded by issuing bonds.
The Fund plans to issue the new bonds denominated in special drawing rights (SDRs), which is a synthetic currency made up by the dollar (44%), the euro (34%), the Japanese yen (11%) and the British pound (11%). However, the maturity of these bonds is still unknown, with some saying that they will be issued for a shorter period, up to 18 months, while other say it will be as long as 5 year.
The IMF’s bonds have strong implications for the financial market and in the political world. China has pledge for a long time that the world should seek an alternative reserve currency to the dollar, saying that the SDRs should be appropriate.
To some extent, China and the other emerging economies obtained a clear political victory over the developed world; up to now these were the countries to lobby the IMF to issue bonds. Consequently, it is China 2 – U.S. 0, since China will manage to diversify from the dollar (something it has talked and planned for a long period) and at the same time it will manage to impose its view in the world.
In the financial market, some argue, among them TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team, that the IMF bonds might change the behavior of the Treasury market, mainly because central banks now have a realistic alternative to the greenback.
One of the most important aspects of the newly formed IMF bonds, is that they may raise the yield of the U.S. Treasuries, since demand for U.S. debt is likely to weaken. Foreign central banks hold an important part of the debt issued by the U.S. Treasuries, but this is likely to change when central banks have an alternative.
From now on, the U.S. Government’s debt will have to face and challenge the bonds issued by the IMF, a race that seems lost. However, it should be noted that there is no secondary market for the bonds issued by the IMF, only central banks will be able to buy and trade them. This means that the U.S. Treasury Note would still remain the market’s favorite instrument when risk-aversion comes into the financial market.
A very important note is that a central bank can simply buy IMF bonds without any prior notification from the Government, or any other national institutions. Since the new IMF bonds are seen as foreign exchange reserves, any central bank can simply sell some of the assets that they already hold (such as U.S. Treasuries) and buy instead the bonds issued by the IMF.
One way or the other, the IMF bonds start to appear as a contender to the status of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. Maybe, somewhere in the future, the dollar will need to move over and share the throne, because if the central bank Treasury market is being usurped there may be no end to it.
How does 660 Eur per ounce of gold sound? Or 38 Gbp per barrel of oil? Maybe we will buying a bushel of corn in Jpy before we know it.
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