From Think Progress:
Earlier this week, right-wing fanatic Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) started peddling false conspiracy theories that the world was moving toward a unified global currency — and that the U.S. might join in as early as next week’s G-20 conference. The myth was started when China’s central bank governor suggested replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Though the suggestion has nothing to do with a unified global currency, Fox News’ Major Garrett decided to ask President Obama whether he supported the fictional prospect of such a move. (Obama, for the record, does not.)
Today on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Bachmann declared that the U.S. will soon be moving to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.” Such action, she warned, would mean the U.S. as a country would be “no more”…
BACHMANN: As you know, Russia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, many nations have lined up now and have called for an international global currency, a One World currency and they want to get off of the dollar as the reserve currency.
BECK: Most people don’t understand, Michele, what that means.
BACHMANN: What that means is all of the countries in the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.
Bachmann claimed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he was “open” to the One World currency. (In reality, he only said he was open to changes in the IMF [International Monetary Fund] special drawing rights, and reaffirmed his commitment to the dollar.) Beck warned that speaking out about the global currency gets one labeled a “kook,” but Bachmann brushed off such concerns, saying she’s been called that “throughout [her] political career”…
BACHMANN: But let me tell you, there’s something that’s happening this week in congress that could be the eventual unraveling for our freedom and it was this. I have also asked the treasury secretary and Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chair, if they would categorically denounce taking the United States off of the dollar and putting us on an international global currency because as you know, Russia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, many nations have lined up now and have called for an international global currency, a one world currency and they want to get off of the dollar as the reserve currency.
Read more of the transcript at the link above.
From The Plum Line:
GOP Rep Michele Bachmann, who is quite the colorful character, wants an answer: Is Obama secretly in favor of getting rid of the dollar and replacing it with a multi-national currency?
Bachmann is jumping on a claim yesterday by Tim Geithner, who temporarily seemed to suggest yesterday that he’s open to a Chinese proposal to replace the dollar as the global currency, before walking it back. She blasted out a release demanding that Obama come clean about his intentions and say whether he agrees with Geithner:
Bachmann Demands Truth: Will Obama Administration Abandon Dollar for a Multi-National Currency?
The thing is, though, is that Geithner has already clarified that he doesn’t foresee a change in the dollar’s centrality. And Obama himself flatly declared that he’s not open to such a change at his presser the other night.
Undeterred, Bachmann has even “introduced a resolution that would bar the dollar from being replaced by any foreign currency,” as her release puts it.
It appears Bachmann may have thought that Geithner was talking about being open to a change in U.S. currency, rather than the world’s reserve currency, which is what the China proposal was about.
So is Bachmann proposing legislation that would ban foreign countries from doing this? Can Congress really legislate the behavior of foreign countries?
“She’s talking about the United States,” [Bachmann’s spokesperson, Debbee] Keller said. “This legislation would ensure that the U.S. dollar remain the currency of the United States.” Of course, no one had been discussing any change in U.S. currency in the first place….
From Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress:
BACHMANN: What that means is that all of the countries of the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency. And now for the first time, we’re seeing major countires like China, India, Russia, countries like that, calling for a one world currency and they want this discussion to occur at the G20. So I asked both the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve chair if they would categorically denounce this. The reason why is because if we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply. We lose country over our economy. And economic liberty is inextricably entwined with political liberty. Once you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom. And then we are no more, as an exceptional nation, as we always have been. So this is imperative.
This falsehoods here are coming so fast and loose that it’s hard to know where to start here. But to get to the main point, most countries hold “reserves” of various kinds—foreign currency and gold. Most countries, right now, primarily hold dollars. Euros are also popular, and Yen and British Pounds somewhat less so. The United States of America does not, obviously, hold any dollars in our reserves. We actually have quite a lot of gold. And different countries vary their practices in this regard. But most countries mostly hold their reserves in dollars. So the dollar is, in effect, the “global reserve currency.” The IMF also issues something called Special Drawing Rights that countries can use as a reserve asset. SDRs work as a kind of meta-currency, with their value based on a basket of major world currencies. A Chinese official suggested that it might be good for the world to tilt away from such a heavy reliance on dollars as the reserve currency of choice, since this leaves countries exposed to policy decisions in the United States, and toward something more SDR-like that would be balanced between dollars and euros and yen and pounds and so forth.
This has nothing to do with replacing the dollars in your bank account—or Michele Bachmann’s—with a new currency. Nor would it be the creation of a One World Currency. And to be clear, while the United States could prevent the IMF from formally creating any kind of new internationalized reserve currency, there’s nothing we can do to stop foreign countries from weighting their reserve baskets away from dollars. It’s just not up to us.
Teh stupid is spreading, kids. This is from a transcript of an interview Glenn Beck did with South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint:
GLENN: Senator, I want to have a frank conversation with you, if we can, about the times that we’re living in and how close do you believe we are to turning a page on this country that cannot be turned back.
SENATOR DeMINT: [Blah, blah, blah] If I use my business mind and look at it like look at our country’s financial situation like a balance sheet, I don’t see any sustainable path or any plausible way to turn this around, in light of the experts now are saying the only way we can make the financial side of this work is to what they call debase our currency or heavily inflate it. And I think that’s why you hear countries like China and maybe Geithner even agreeing some new world currency that allows some realignment.