Which is the cheapest world currency

Debt crisis, fear of recession, currency war - the tremor in the world economy has catapulted the price of gold towards $ 2,000. But the sheen of the precious metal has a dark side: Confidence in paper money is waning. The dollar and euro fell across the board against emerging market currencies. The Swiss franc is so strong that the federal central bank wants to end its soaring flight. Japan's monetary authorities are also trying to stop the yen's record hunt.

The decline in the dollar can be seen less on the euro than on the exchange rate for yen and franc - or the price of gold. The power of the greenback as a world currency is in jeopardy. No wonder, the United States lives notoriously beyond its means. The country only escaped bankruptcy by simply allowing more debt. The government in Washington is pushing a mountain of debt of 14.3 trillion dollars because the US always consumes more than it produces - at the expense of its creditors, especially China and Japan.

Asians are lending money to the US so they can buy their smartphones and televisions. But the deal, which was once mutually beneficial, is fragile. America has gambled away a lot of credit in recent years - first the crash of the new economy, then the bubble in the real estate market, and finally the rating agency Standard & Poor's punished the USA for its credit addiction and downgraded its creditworthiness. For the economic superpower, this is a real disgrace. Beijing commentators think America is already in a "phase of decline," as the economist Xia Bin, who advises the Chinese cabinet and the central bank, recently warned. China, the United States' largest creditor, is concerned.

A safe haven for the abundant foreign exchange reserves is not that easy to find. The most obvious choice would be the euro. But Europeans have their own problems. The attempt to combat the problems in Greece, Ireland and Portugal by forcing these countries to pile new debts on top of old ones by means of loans can be considered a failure. In addition, the tough austerity policy imposed on governments is paralyzing any growth. Now the crisis threatens to affect Spain and Italy as well.

The basic evil of the common currency area has not been resolved: The German economy can boom while Spain slides into recession. But the euro members have no way of reacting to this with a suitable monetary policy. All that remains for them is fiscal policy or the adjustment of prices and wages. This not only puts the national governments to the acid test, but also the monetary union as a whole.

The debt crises have aroused suspicion among investors - both in the US and in Europe. But its role as a reserve currency remains unaffected for the time being. The weights of the world's three leading reserve currencies have remained roughly the same over the past three years. According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the dollar leads with a share of 61 percent. The euro comes to 26 percent, the yen to four. The three leading currencies make up more than 90 percent of the world's currency reserves. Gold, the Chinese yuan or the Swiss franc play insignificant supporting roles.

The same is true of locations other than central bank balance sheets. In the world's commodity markets, business is carried out in dollars. Of course, China would like to go shopping with its own currency - on more favorable terms. But it has to pay in dollars. The financial markets also reflect the power of the dollar. Wall Street still sets the pace of the world's stock markets. Large sections of the academic elite and business leaders were trained at American universities.