Dollar vs EURO -- Weapons of Mass Destruction
There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in the form of EURO currency. The petrodollar depends upon Iraq's oil reserves to defend the United States dollar against the EURO and other currencies. In 2001, well before Iraq's invasion, the dollar faced uncertainty as an overpriced, debt heavy currency against a new and robust EURO. In early 2004, the dollar is losing ground.
The economics will change however. Now that The United States of America has taken both Iraq and Afghanistan and owns those country's natural resources, the dollar plans a brighter future, or a stable one at best. Iraq trades (again) in dollars. The White House said all along they were freeing Iraqis and Afghanis from tyranny, and searching for weapons of mass destruction, and that the US-military was not invading those countries for oil, but that wasn't true.
War protesters claimed George W Bush was invading Iraq for oil. That was only partly true, and their cries for peace were uninformed. US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were for oil, but not for consumption. Pre-Iraq invasion, Saddam Hussein was trading in EUROs. Afghanistan is key to piping oil out of the Caspian Basin.
Discussing stocks, currency, and economics is not always exciting, and it is as vauge as weapons of mass destruction. The media dumbs-down viewers with sensational snipets. General accounting practices, and world economic balance sheets are far too boring for the 6 o'clock news. Less than five percent of journalists in broadcast and print claim to understand economics, fewer understand how the US dollar / petrodollar fits into the global economy. Hence, it isn't discussed, and the "war" against Iraq and Afghanistan turned into a media blitz or humanitarian issue without background information on White House policy.
The United States will flex muscle against any commodity threats against the petrodollar. A government or business standing in the way of "oil progress" would lose. In April 2001, the Australian dollar plummeted when Australia's government and Foreign Investment Review Board rejected a merger between Royal/Dutch Shell and Woodside Petroleum. Australia's dollar fell to US50.42, and Woodside Petroleum lost $1 billion market value on decision day. The fight for oil is second to religion as the reason and cause for war throughout history, and yet oil itself is a relatively new commodity to consumers.
The United States dollar abandoned gold markets under the Nixon administration in 1973. The US media didn't pay attention to such a bold move, because sensational headlines of the day were related to long gasoline lines, electrical shortages, and Watergate. Even 30 years later, consumers won't read in newsprint why our dollar is dependent upon oil. Keeping oil priced exclusively in dollars was enough cause for waging war in Iraq after Iraq's bold switch to EURO oil payments in 2002. The White House public relations campaign chose to pick emotional reason for invasion. OPEC, North Korea, Iran, and Russia now plan to trade in EUROs as the dollar continues to slide in value.
Economist commentator Sonja Ebron wrote, "An OPEC switch from the dollar to the euro would bring a quick and devastating dollar and Wall Street crash that would make 1929 look like a $50 casino bet." This prediction was understood by the Clinton administration, but the Bush administration took action to boost the petrodollar.
The greatest financial weapon against the United States is the EURO. It is the first currency to present a threat against the dollar. The EURO is a shared currency of 15 European nations centered upon Germany and France. The economies and populations of the euro countries are as large as that of the United States, and more tightly bound to the Middle East, said Ebron. As large as the European Union appears today, it continues to grow. The United States is landlocked. The world is suddenly too small for the dollar to grow.
Since 1945 the dollar has been the global oil transaction currency. These dollars are recycled from oil production to the US as Treasury Bills and assets in US stocks and real estate, which is a substantial portion of the financial market. The EURO becomes the alternative currency to nations wishing to switch.
Now for the difficult part... although the Asian Times writes a fairly "idiot-proof" description. In 2002, the US debt was $6 trillion against a gross domestic product of $9 trillion. Global economies have, since WWII, captured dollars to service foreign debts, and accumulated dollar reserves sustain the exchange value of their own currency. The world's central banks hold dollar reserves equal to their currency in circulation. The more pressure to devalue a currency, the more dollar reserves are required. This makes each economy dependent upon the US dollar, or known as dollar hegemony, constructed mainly by oil -- in other words, oil producing nations historically only accepted dollars, until the EURO. But with this currency game, the US essentially owns the world oil trading market for free, and allows the US to build its debt based upon credit assets they don't physically own. With The United States in control of Iraq, oil trade reverts to dollars.
With a strong dependency upon oil, and petrodollars secure, the White House hopes the EURO will slide. The EURO economy is currently $9.6 trillion. As more countries jump on to use EURO, their economy grows. The US either takes over the assets they trade, like Iraq, or convince the rest of the world to exchange their currency for dollars. The US is urging Tony Blair not to adopt the EURO for this purpose. The EURO is new, has little debt. The US dollar has a substantial debt, but is heavily used. The European Union itself is a larger consumer of oil than the US.
These are White House games you won't read about in the US media. This one you should pay attention to.