France stands up to the U.S Dollar
Duncan Richardson, News Editor
8 Jul 2014, 10:33 a.m.
Michel Sapin, the French Minister of Finance is calling upon the international community to stop using the U.S. dollar exclusively to settle international trade. The announcement comes days after French Bank BNP Paribas was fined $8.97 billion by U.S. authorities. Politicians in France have been quick to defend the French based institution, claiming the Bank did not break any European regulations and believe they have fallen victim to U.S. judiciary system.
Sapin told the Financial Times. "We trade within Europe, using the dollar. Do we need this? No, I think we don't. I think we should change the currency balance. I'm speaking not only about euro, but about other currencies that are taking up a growing part of the international market."
Sapin also confirmed he will be discussing the option of creating an alternative to the U.S. dollar at the European Finance Minister meeting in Belgium on Monday.
Increasingly, politicians and business leaders from around the world are questioning the use of the U.S dollar. Russian based energy firm, Gazprom, recently asked its institutional clients to start paying for gas in currencies other than the dollar. On Saturday the CEO of French based oil giant Total told reporters there is no reason why oil should be paid for in U.S dollars.
Around 50% of all the dollars in the world are held outside the US and many economists fear if the U.S. dollar is rejected those dollars will flood back into the U.S. causing inflation to surge. Gold is bought as a hedge against inflation and political instability.