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Andy Schectman, President and Owner of Miles Franklin, believes that a common settlement currency for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is an unavoidable outcome. In a recent interview with Michelle Makori, Lead Anchor and Editor-in-Chief at Kitco News, Schectman expressed his conviction that the BRICS will introduce a currency backed by a tangible asset.
“While the timing of the currency’s launch remains uncertain, the increasing alliances within the BRICS group indicate that it is on the horizon,” Schectman stated. He emphasized that the sheer size of the population represented by the BRICS alliance makes the introduction of a common currency a significant event, regardless of the specific timeline.
There have been conflicting reports leading up to the BRICS summit taking place in Johannesburg from August 22-24. Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s Ambassador at Large to Asia and BRICS, stated last month that a BRICS currency was not on the summit’s agenda. He clarified that the focus of the summit would be on trading and settling in local currencies.
Although the immediate goals for the BRICS group revolve around sidestepping the SWIFT system and avoiding Western sanctions, one event in the upcoming summit that investors should closely monitor is Saudi Arabia’s participation. This is because Saudi Arabia’s involvement could have a significant impact on the global de-dollarization movement.
Schectman sees Saudi Arabia as a crucial player in the transition away from the U.S. dollar. He predicts that eventually, 85% of the global population will abandon the greenback. This possible shift is rooted in the petrodollar system, where countries need to hold dollars to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia.
Schectman referred to the deal made between the Nixon administration and Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, which established that Saudis would exclusively trade oil in dollars in exchange for U.S. security guarantees. This agreement also led to a shift within OPEC to conduct oil sales in dollars, creating a synthetic demand for the dollar.
The recent actions of Saudi Arabia, including its decision to join the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), indicate a growing departure from the influence of Western powers. The SCO is a political, security, and trade alliance created in 2001 as a counterbalance to Western influence. As Saudi Arabia aligns itself with such powerful entities, it further lends credibility to the de-dollarization movement.
Schectman believes that the movement against the dollar extends beyond the BRICS bloc. If all these new alliances come together, it would represent a staggering 85% of the global population. He highlights the significance of merging initiatives such as the Belt Road Initiative, the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union.
The trend of de-dollarization has been rapidly accelerating and is now seen as irreversible. “We are at a point of no return – ‘past the Rubicon,'” Schectman asserts. The settling of transactions outside the U.S. dollar diminishes its demand and puts pressure on its value, leading to rising interest rates.
Schectman paints a vivid analogy to describe the process: “It’s like a game of Jenga. You keep pulling out these pieces of the dollar hegemony one by one. At what point does it tumble? It’s not going to happen overnight, but you can see the acceleration. So little by little, and then all at once.”
The introduction of a BRICS currency, backed by a tangible asset, seems inevitable according to Andy Schectman. The shifting alliances within the BRICS group, the potential involvement of Saudi Arabia, and the growing trend of de-dollarization all contribute to this movement away from the U.S. dollar. The world’s reserve currency faces challenges as various countries seek to trade and settle transactions using their own currencies, potentially leading to a substantial impact on the global financial landscape.
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