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CEP 21st Birthday Lecture Series

Exhorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar

Speaker: Professor Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley

Chair: Professor John Van Reenen, Director, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

This event took place on Tuesday 22 March 2011 at the LSE

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Overview: For more than half a century, the U.S. dollar has been not just America's currency but the world's. It is used globally by importers, exporters, investors, governments and central banks alike. Nearly three-quarters of all $100 bills circulate outside the United States. The dollar holdings of the Chinese government alone come to more than $1,000 per Chinese resident.

This dependence on dollars, by banks, corporations and governments around the world, is a source of strength for the United States. It is, as a critic of U.S. policies once put it, America's "exorbitant privilege." However, recent events have raised concerns that this soon may be a privilege lost.

With the rise of China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies, America no longer towers over the global economy. Will the dollar lose its international currency status? Eichengreen will put forward his views on the future of the greenback.

About the Speaker:

Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. One of the foremost experts on the history and future prospects of the international monetary and financial system he has written widely on the subject, his books include: Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods, Capital Flows and Crises, and Financial Crises and What to Do about Them. His commentary has appeared in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous other newspapers and periodicals. He writes a regular monthly column for Project Syndicate.


For ticket information please contact the LSE Conferences and Events office

For information on future lectures in this series, please visit the CEP 21st Birthday Lecture Series webpage