Lazard CEO: Cyptocurrencies may usurp dollar as reserve currency

June 08, 2018
Chris Wheal

Lazard’s CEO has warned that the dollar’s days as the world’s reserve currency could be numbered if the US continues to pursue a policy of isolationism.

Lazard CEO Ken Jacobs was interviewd by Bloomberg Television: Bloomberg

In a Bloomberg Television interview, Ken Jacobs spoke of the declining influence of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Although the Chinese yuan and the euro had been cited as potential alternatives, he believed cryptocurrencies represented the most likely replacement.

“To the extent that we have unilateral foreign policy and unilateral trade policy, we’re sort of tempting the world to find an alternative,” said Jacobs. “Probably the greatest demonstration of soft power is the fact that the US has the reserve currency of the world.”

Currency of choice

Jacobs noted that the dollar had been the international currency of choice since the second world war due to its stability in global markets. That in turn kept down borrowing costs and helped fund the US budget deficit as trading partners place their dollars in Treasuries.

While threats to that status are still distant as other major currencies are unlikely replacements “there’s enough technology out in the world today with cryptocurrency and changes going on that you can imagine, if you let your mind wander a little bit, that something becomes an alternative in the future,” he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Jacobs was upbeat about the global economy, while noting there are long-term risks to the US, including failure to agree on immigration reform needed to boost future economic growth.

Lazard is one of the world’s top 10 merger adviser firms and manages more than $250bn of assets.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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