New world currency from the BRICS+ counties coming in August

New world currency from the BRICS+ counties coming in August.  By Jim Rickards.

The acronym BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. ,,,

The most important development in the BRICS system concerns the expansion of BRICS membership. This has led to the informal adoption of the name BRICS+ for the expanded organization.

There are currently eight nations that have formally applied for membership and 17 others that have expressed interest in joining. The eight formal applicants are: Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The 17 countries that have expressed interest are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. …

China, India, Brazil, Russia and Saudi Arabia have a combined GDP of $29 trillion or 28% of nominal global GDP. If one uses purchasing power parity to measure GDP, then the BRICS share is over 54%. …

The BRICs want an alternative to the US dollar:

For years, the U.S. has used sanctions to punish nations like Iran. But the sanctions the U.S. and its allies imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine last year went far beyond previous sanctions regimes. They were unprecedented.

Many other nations began to conclude that they could be next if they run afoul of the U.S. on certain issues. And that fear has greatly accelerated the push to opt out of the dollar system entirely. ….

The global desire to move away from the dollar as a medium of exchange for international trade in goods and services is hardly new. The difference today is that it’s gone from a discussion point to a novelty to a looming reality in a remarkably short period of time. …

The new BRICS+ currency to be announced in August:

A new BRICS+ currency… will be announced in Durban, South Africa, at the annual BRICS Leaders’ Summit Conference on Aug. 22–24.

The currency will be pegged to a basket of commodities for use in trade among members. Initially, the BRICS+ commodity basket would include oil, wheat, copper and other essential goods traded globally in specified quantities.

In all likelihood, the new BRICS+ currency would not be available in the form of paper notes for use in everyday transactions. It would be a digital currency on a permissioned ledger maintained by a new BRICS+ financial institution with encrypted message traffic to record payments due or owing by participating parties. (This is not a cryptocurrency because it is not decentralized, not maintained on a blockchain and not open to all parties without approval.)

The latest information from the BRICS working groups is that this basket valuation methodology is encountering the same problems that John Maynard Keynes encountered at the Bretton Woods meetings in 1944.

Keynes initially suggested a basket of commodities approach for a world currency he called the bancor. The difficulty is that global commodities included in any basket are not entirely fungible (there are over 70 grades of crude oil distinguished by viscosity and sulfur content among other attributes).

In the end, Keynes saw that a basket of commodities is not necessary and that a single commodity — gold — would better serve the purpose of anchoring a currency for reasons of convenience and uniformity.

Based on the impracticality of commodity baskets as uniform stores of value, it appears likely that the new BRICS+ currency will be linked to a weight of gold.

Gold to make a comeback?

The BRICS+ countries have been leading up to this for years. The US dollar gives the US a lot of unearned income (it prints dollars, but foreigners have to pay real goods and services to the US to earn those dollars), so it will be interesting to see if it can be displaced. If successful, there will be a major shift in world power.