Russia not a threat to dominance, importance of US dollar

There has been talk of Russia somehow undermining the Petro dollar.

Vladimir Putin’s insistence that “unfriendly” nations pay in rubles for natural gas is just the beginning of a Russian export policy that will see fewer U.S. dollars being used in transactions for goods, especially for energy, according to the Kremlin.

Russia demanding Rubles does not mean that the dollar becomes less relevant, for the simple fact that the final negotiated price for any commodity is still a function of dollars, except that it’s converted into Rubles, which creates an extra redundant step. So it’s not like anything changes. It’s more of a forex change than a shift away from the dollar. Being forced to pay in Rubles could prop up the Ruble, but it’s far from saying that the dollar is going to become less relevant. What would have to happen is the price of oil itself would need to stop being indexed to the dollar. So there would have to be multiple oil indexes, that are each treated as equally valid. This is because when deciding what a fungible commodity is worth in any marketplace, there needs to be some universally accepted ‘peg’ for valuating it. Saying that oil is worth “X” of some currency and “Y” of another currency, what is the relation between X & Y? That’s where the dollar comes in. The ‘official’ oil price is still indexed to dollars, and then this is converted to local currencies when countries trade oil.

1 comment

  1. Any value the ruble may have is a lot more ephemeral than the dollar’s value, due to the USA’s limited currency and fiscal discipline over the years, backed up by many political interests.

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