UN sees risk of crisis of confidence in dollar

NEW YORK: The UN warned of a possible crisis of confidence in, and even a “collapse” of, the US dollar if its value against other currencies continued to decline.

In a mid-year review of the world economy, the UN economic division said such a development, stemming from the falling value of foreign dollar holdings, would imperil the global financial system.

The report, an update of the UN “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011” report first issued in December, noted that the dollar exchange rate against a basket of other key currencies had reached its lowest level since the 1970s.

This trend, it said, had recently been driven in part by interest rate differentials between the US and other major economies and growing concern about the sustainability of the US public debt, half of which is held by foreigners.

“As a result, further (expected) losses of the book value of the vast foreign reserve holdings could trigger a crisis of confidence in the reserve currency, which would put the entire global financial system at risk,” it said.

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