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International reserves in the era of quasi-world money

Labrinidis, George (2014): International reserves in the era of quasi-world money. Published in: Research on Money and Finance Discussion Papers No. 46 (12 October 2014)

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The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on the modern monetary arrangements from a Marxist perspectives, following the recent developments of the Marxist theory of world money. The paper treats the US Dollar as a primus inter pares quasi-world money and challenges the argument of the US hegemony by exploring the behavior of major capitalist states and selected developing countries as far as their official international reserves are concerned. The findings reveal a clear pattern in the behavior of major capitalist states in terms of size and forms, although the degree varies implying a hierarchical structure of the corresponding quasi-world moneys. Although part of a vast literature on international reserves, the analysis focuses on developed countries and treats them individually. The merit of this approach is that it reveals the above mentioned pattern which is blurred when Japan is included. The results imply that current international monetary arrangements promote multipolarity and competition in the geopolitical scene, the evolution of which is historical.

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