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Macroeconomics Case Study

Case Title:

Single Global Currency: Is it Feasible?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: S Korra, B Gopal and S Gollapalli

Industry: General Business


Case Code: MAC0030IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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For almost 2,500 years, countries across the world have experienced multicurrency foreign exchange (FX) transactions and its erratic currency fluctuations. The daily turnover in currency markets rose to $3.2 trillion, which was more than 10 times the world GDP. Daily volumes of cross-currency swaps grew by 281% between 2004 and 2007. International corporations were participating more actively in FX market. The US dollar remained the prominent currency in the FX market covering two-fifths of daily transactions. Emerging market currencies were also gaining equal significance on the FX front with 20% of all transactions by April 2008. Turnover of foreign exchange options and cross-currency swaps more than doubled to $0.3 trillion per day. Though the multicurrency FX market stated a surge of 71% in volume since 2004, it was associated with various costs. Transactions costs in currency trading were very huge at $400 billion in 2007. Frequent speculations in currency trading resulted in currency fluctuations and in extreme cases led to currency crises. On the contrary, these expensive costs in forex transactions would not be considered in the 3-G world. The 3-G world is the implementation of a single global currency to be managed by a Global Central Bank within a Global Monetary Union. The successful examples were the euro and the dollar. Moreover, the number of currencies declined to 147 from 159 in the early 21st century. With the implementation of a single global currency huge transaction costs would be saved. There would not be any currency fluctuations and currency risks while dealing in the FX market. Nevertheless, the concept of a single global currency had limitations reflecting the sovereign policies of different countries about their currencies. This apart, there would not be any FX activity, which might lead to loss of employment too. In this scenario, it is doubtful whether the world should have a single global currency or continue with the complex multicurrency system in view of the many challenges.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To the existing multicurrency system.
  • To the need for, and significance of a single global currency.
  • To the benefits and costs of a single global currency;.
  • To the euro as a single currency in the European Union.
  • To the challenges in the implementation of a single global currency.

Keywords :  Single global currency, Multicurrency system, Foreign exchange market, Currency trading, Currency fluctuations, Currency crisis, Spot transactions, Outright forwards, Currency options, Monetary Union, Global Central Bank, Euro, Exchange rate, Hedge funds, Derivatives

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