DP9305 The Future of International Liquidity and the Role of China

Author(s): Alan M. Taylor
Publication Date: January 2013
Keyword(s): China, international reserves, precautionary saving, renminbi, reserve currency, Triffin paradox
JEL(s): F01, F02, F33
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics, Economic History
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9305

This paper analyzes the consequences of the internationalization of the Chinese renminbi for the global monetary system and its possible ascension to reserve currency status. In an unstable and financially integrated world, governments’ precautionary demand for reserve assets is likely to increase. But the world then risks a third crisis of the global reserve system, another re-run of the Triffin paradox, with an ever-growing emerging-world insurance demand loaded onto a small group of ever more strained net debt suppliers. Two ways to avoid this outcome would entail either expanding the supply of credible reserve liquidity to include some large emerging-market providers, or finding ways to manage emerging-market risks so as to moderate the perceived need for insurance, and China would have to loom large in both solutions.