Are you ready for the next Ronald Reagan? Not here, in Japan. The new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has been in office for less than a month and is already making a lot of waves with a bold new vision – spending whatever it takes and a strong dose of saber-rattling nationalism. It’s the latest – or really the first – plan to get Japan out of the two decade long doldrums and back onto the world stage. Will it work?
Imagine a single currency, all around the world. No more converting between Dollars and Euros and Pounds, the money in your wallet is your ticket to ride anywhere.
Sound like a fantasy? Throughout history it’s been more or less the standard. The coins from one era might come from Rome or Madrid or London or Beijing, but one accepted unit of exchange was the norm until very recently. In many ways, the standard now comes from twelve Federal Reserve banks in paper form, printed with green ink.
But we’re a global society now, with total worldwide trade taking up nearly $8T of the global product of $52T. Is it time for a new global currency that isn’t subject to the needs and politics of one nation? More and more, the answer is “yes”. But getting there, as with anything international, is the hard part.