by JC Collins
13 July 2014
The currency of Vietnam is called the dong and has been pegged to the US dollar for a very long time. The dong has been devalued consistently over the last 4 decades to facilitate the exportation of dollar inflation. Within the country the dollar is predominately used and loans by local financial institutions are predominately denominated in dollars. But all of this is about to change.
The Vietnam Business Forum has been working on methods of stabilizing the Vietnamese dong and its Macroeconomic Policy Working Group (MAG) has just released its recommendations and they are dramatic to say the least.
As reported by Vietnamese Dong News, the following quotes are taken from the substance of the MAG report.
“Yuan, the currency of China, the second largest economy [now the largest June 2015] in the world, and Vietnam’s biggest trade partner, has never gotten a foothold on the foreign exchange market in Vietnam.”
The implication from the report is why would Vietnam continue to use and peg the dong to the US dollar, who it does only marginal trade with, when in reality China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner.
“Experts: heavy dependence on US dollar not good for Vietnam.”
“The report released by MAG last week pointed out that Vietnam’s dollar-pegged foreign exchange policy has had a negative impact on its trade balance.”
This is obvious and timely. We covered the reasons for this in the post “Why the Vietnamese Dong will Reset”.
“In terms of Vietnam’s sovereign debts, its biggest creditors in 2012 included Japan (34.5 percent of Vietnam’s total foreign debts), the World Bank (28.8 percent), and ADB (15.5 percent). As such, Vietnam’s foreign debts have been valuated not only in the US dollar, but also in other hard foreign currencies, including JPY, SDR and EUR.”
Of course the SDR is the mechanism by which most sovereign debts will be restructured. Debt will be consolidated and packaged as SDR bonds.
“MAG’s experts commented that it is unreasonable for Vietnam to follow a dollar-pegged foreign exchange policy, while its trade and foreign debts depend on other foreign currencies.”
With China being Vietnam’s largest trading partner we can assume which currency is being referred to here.
“Therefore, Vietnam has been recommended to apply a new foreign exchange policy which allows it to valuate the Vietnam dong in correlation with more than one foreign currency. This will be a reasonable choice which helps both stabilize the exchange rates and ensure the flexibility of the nation’s policies.”
The operative phrase in the quote is “a new foreign exchange policy”. As stated, it is likely that the dong will be pegged to a basket of currencies. Which baskets now exist outside of the Euro and the SDR? None. But with the announcement of the BRICS Currency Market Stabilization Fund this week and its $100 Billion injection from the BRICS countries, it is possible and probable that the BRICS currencies will form a stabilization basket from which other currencies, like the ones belonging to the Next Eleven countries, of which Vietnam is a member, can peg too and stabilize.
“Now is the right time for Vietnam to follow the new policy, as it now has all the necessary conditions to do this. Vietnam has wide economic openness, but it <does | should>not depend on any one trade partner.”
The right time is strongly implying imminence. The BRICS Development Bank and the currency market stabilization fund are vital components of the policy being described by MAG.
“Therefore, if it were to apply the policy, Vietnam would be safe from the shocks in other foreign currency markets, if and when they occur.”
This statement is suggesting sudden and dramatic adjustments to the foreign currency markets, which is likely focused on the US dollar and the coming changes to its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.
It is almost surreal that what we have been describing from the beginning is now taking place. The world is on the verge of huge and dramatic changes.
The BRICS currency basket will eventually be integrated into the larger macro SDR basket, most likely at the end of the year when the 2010 Code of Reforms are finally passed and the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund is restructured. This fits perfectly with what we have described as the local currencies of countries consolidate into regional currency groups which will then make up the SDR supra-sovereign basket. See the post “The Arcane SDR Supra-Macro Asset”.
The US dollar continues to be isolated around the world and the critical stage of actualization for major adjustments to the currency markets has arrived.
And for those who continue to propose that the BRICS Development Bank will compete directly with the World Bank and IMF, you will be severely disappointed when these organizations begin to announce macro financial agreements. I’ve already discussed how the World Bank has expressed its full support for the BRICS Development Bank in the post The Emerging Multilateral.
The World Bank is also openly supporting Vietnam’s policy group and mandates, as described here. Be sure to read the full article as the World Bank describes how China’s oil rig being placed in Vietnam’s Economic Zone has had no negative effects.
Additionally, the World Bank’s President will be visiting Vietnam on July 16th and 17th to strengthen the partnership. These are the same dates as the BRICS summit from which the official announcements of the New Development Bank and Currency Stabilization Fund will be made.
And as we’ve explained already, the World Bank has offered its full support for the BRICS Bank. This is not a coincidence and is making it increasingly challenging for those who attempt to convince us that their are two opposing sides to the economic reset taking place.
Its obvious that the Vietnamese dong is about to be revalued but how that revaluation will look on the other side is not clearly determined. Those who have dreams of getting rich from the dong reset may in fact see some sort of upside but it is just as likely that capital flow restrictions could very well hamper some of this.
Much is known, as can be attested from the above information, but there still remains large components of this financial reset which have been well hidden. But let us not forget those around the world who have suffered tremendously under the past imbalances, none more so than the Vietnamese people themselves, who have shown strength and perseverance through decades of war and economic sanctions. The fact that they have modernized faster than any other country in the world is a testament to the power of the human heart and mind. – JC
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