An enhanced special drawing right (SDR), valued by a basket of goods, would provide the global currency and reserve asset the global economy craves. This paper proposes linking the value of the International Monetary Fund’s SDR and national currencies that fix their exchange rates to the SDR to a representative basket of widely traded goods. The new “real SDR” would be issued and redeemed passively according to “Currency Board” rules in exchange for financial assets with the same market value as the basket. National currencies and/or an international reserve currency with the same value (i.e. fixed to a common unit of account) would lower the cost of trading by reducing transaction and information costs and exchange rate risk and would thus increase world trade and improve the efficiency of international resource allocation. A system anchored to a goods basket would not have the shortcomings that afflict the gold standard-gold's fluctuating relative value. The indirect redeemability rule, issuing and redeeming real SDRs for financial assets of equivalent value would avoid the shortcoming that makes multi-good commodity standards very costly—¬the need to maintain large reserves of all of the commodities in the basket. The innovative idea of indirect redeemability, discussed by Yeager, Greenfield, and others, keeps the quantity of SDRs equal to the amount demanded when its value is given by the valuation basket, without the need for the monetary authority to warehouse the goods in the basket.
- Currency Board,
- world money,
- unit of account,
- indirect redeemability
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