Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The US Dollar reserve currency/petro dollar is the biggest weapon in the US arsenal, and the US has by far the largest army on the planet to enforce with https://www.amazon.com/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1...

> petro dollar

Petrodollar hypotheses get the dollar's hegemony in international trade backwards. Petrodollars (i.e. oil producers' surplus revenues invested in U.S. dollar denominated instruments [1]) don't cause the hegemony. The United States being (a) the only advanced economy not bombed to the 19th century post-WWII and (b) the world's largest single consumer market [2] created and create international holders of U.S. dollars. (In the initial case, thanks to Bretton Woods. In the recurring case, since Americans pay with U.S. dollars.) Those holders, in turn, drive demand for dollar-denominated investments.

The interaction between these processes, international consumption by Americans and the reinvestment of international dollars, drives economies of scale in the American financial system. (It is why, until very recently, it was cheaper and faster to send U.S. dollars between two European capitals than initiate a Euro-denominated transfer.)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrocurrency

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_consumer_marke...

The interaction is also what varoufakis calls a "surplus recycling mechanism".

When reinvestment of foreign American dollars back into Wall Street hiccuped in 2008, the cycle started to break - now there are deflationary winds blowing around

Since oil is traded in dollars I was referring to petrodollars in that context.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar_recycling The USA attacked Iraq in the S Hussien era the moment they attempted to formally trade oil in euros for example. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/10/30/iraq.un.euro.reut/

> Since oil is traded in dollars I was referring to petrodollars

Oil is quoted and traded in all kinds of currencies. It tends to be exchanged in dollars for the same reason that when Lufthansa bought Airbus jets in the last decade, they did the deal in dollars: Fedwire was, until very recently, the world's only international real-time high-volume electronic money transfer system. (Now Europe has a competitor.)

The Hussein euro thing is a conspiracy. In what currency do you think British North Sea oil being shipped to Europe is paid for?

What do you mean by 'conspiracy?" Oil bourses trade in dollars

> What do you mean by 'conspiracy?"

The United States did not invade Iraq because it was threatening to switch to Euros. If anything, American banks would have been thrilled at the prospect of new FX revenues.

> Oil bourses trade in dollars

Oil bourses? Oil futures are mostly traded on exchanges, but oil the commodity is mostly traded over the counter. It's privately negotiated. Those private negotiations reference whatever they want to, whether Brent in USD, Brent in EUR, WTI in USD, COM in JPY, et cetera.

Right. 'In the case of crude oil, the main futures exchanges are the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) where West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and North Sea Brent crude oil are traded respectively.

These exchanges trade what is referred to as 'light- sweet' crude oil and a single contract, or 'lot', calls for the purchase or sale of 1,000 barrels of oil. Traders can buy and sell oil for delivery several months or years ahead'


The term they were looking for was "conspiracy theory", arguably one of the most important colloquial mistakes to correct when talking "cloak and dagger" politics.

  the US has by far the largest army on the planet to enforce with
That's completely wrong.


Try looking by military budget instead. The US military budget is larger than the next few budgets combined. The most recent increase is bigger than the entire Russian military budget.

Yes, what other countries do with men in boots, the US attempts to do with technology. This seems to be only partially working. The US can bomb the hell out of people, but actually controlling any situation on the ground, it is not so good at.

It is often sufficient to US ends to merely depose a government and leave their country an ungovernable morass of violence for years, or else to let a local client do the hands-on work. There have been some high-profile failures, but nobody even pays attention to, like, Haiti, or Guatemala, or Libya, or wherever, where we've had our way without too much trouble.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2021

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact